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VOL. I. 









D. D. 



( Tii ) 


It is a commonplace that the writing of a parish history has often been lightly started with very 
little idea of how much labour it would involve. Certainly few can have begun such a work with 
less knowledge of how to do it than the present writer, or with more ignorance of the classes of 
material to be dealt with, and the fields of knowledge in which they were to be sought. But there 
proved to be an unsuspected attractiveness in all this "dry-as-dust " : the hunting joy of finding 
facts and running down the smallest items that bear upon the quan-y. Moreover when the 
keenness for this chase was roused there was added the opportunity and leisure to pursue it, 
supplied by the fact of the writer gradually growing totally deaf. Debarred thus from the local 
and county work, which had always been among the chief occupations of a wholly country life, he 
found himself before the age of forty compelled more and more to spend his time with books and 
papers rather than as heretofore among his fellow men. A natural fondness for books, and some 
rags of classical education still clinging, made the matter easier ; and so as years passed this book 
has gradually grown in scope and size, with matter gleaned here and there, supplying fresh facts 
in this direction or new sidelights on old facts in that. 

Indeed the quest of facts about Blechingley and those who lived in it at one time and another 
has led far afield. Especially, the desire to tell something of its Norman lords has yoked an 
account of the de Clare family somewhat unequally, but as it seemed (to the writer) not unreason- 
ably, to the history of their chief Surrey lordship. For though men and motives are more 
interesting than mere facts, yet since in those confused mediaeval days it is chiefly from facts 
that motives can be gathered, it was only by a recital of facts that a picture could be made at all 
of these early lords of Blechingley. How far that recital has pictured them the reader must 
judge; to the writer the de Clares have seemed more real in writing of them than he can hope 
to have presented them. But at least he has tried to stick to facts, and not evolve imaginary 

With other families and persons the same idea has been followed — to tell the story, so far as it 
could be found, of those who have been connected with the parish. Thus, especially, the account 
of the rectors has been made a full one, and used as a thread on which to string much miscellaneous 
parish history extracted from many sources, and particularly from the churchwardens' accounts 
from Restoration days. 

Save for the noble families of de Clare, de Stafford, or Howard, whose history might be 
told with as much reason in scores of parishes up and down England, Blechingley claims no men 
of great note. As a market-town and borough it had for its lords men of national importance 
fi-om the Conquest till Queen Anne's day ; but no actual native of the parish has achieved celebrity. 
Indeed it may be trulv said, mutatis mutandis, that the history of Blechingley is the history of a 


hundred other parishes as well. But that does not make it less interesting nowadays, when our 
county histories are being written with finality, and (if the expression may be allowed, speaking 
archseologieally) it is parishes and the smaller families which have the future before them. 

As to the plan of the book the parish history naturally begins chronologically ; but after 
Chapter V., when the scanty mediaeval records had been dealt with, the question at once arose how 
best to present the bulkier material remaining. Where so many tiny threads had to be traced, an 
ordered progress, a la Gibbon, was hopeless. Division under lands was therefore imperative. But 
this entailed bringing one story down to modern days and then harking back to tell another, with 
the obvious dangers, on either side, of damnable iteration or intolerable cross-referencing. The 
writer has tried to face both these ; and while not fearing to step aside now and again to follow a 
side-track, where it seemed a help towards covering the ground fairly, has preferred occasionally to 
repeat facts (especially where the matter seemed to bear emphasizing), rather than to multiply 
references to other pages. 

Perhaps the best method of co-ordinating a parish history — a mass of facts and names, here 
closely and historically interconnected, and there with no special links, save that they occur within 
the four corners of the same place — has yet to be evolved. In this case the chapters follow on as 
one subject led to another in the writer's mind, in the hope that the order in which it seemed 
simplest to tell the story might prove the easiest to read. 

The last chapter is an historical list of Blechingley place and field-names, with some account 
of their origin, where known, and, occasionally, suggested explanations (which latter the reader can 
discount a volonte). So little seems to have been done yet towards the study and comparison of 
field-names in different places that the writer has not scrupled to treat those of Blechingley fully, 
hoping that much, in itself doubtful or of little value, may perhaps be suggestive, and so productive 
of better work by others elsewhere. 

And it is hoped that this list, as well as the three indexes — of unusual words, general, and 
subject — may prove of service to some who do not know Blechingley (even with a " t "), but take an 
interest in antiquarian matters. To them, and to all who open this volume, one merit at least will 
be obvious — that is the excellence of the illustrations supplied by Mr. Kenrick's camera and 
Mr. Christie's drawings. Indeed, without pictures of the men and places the history of Blechingley 
would scarce be tolerable. As it is they lighten the pages, even if they have failed to excuse the 

In the matter of assistance the writer his so much charity to acknowledge that he must ii3eds 
begin nearest home. 

To my brother Sir Henry Lambert, K.C.M.G., C.B., Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, 
of Larklands Banstead, and till lately of Sandhills, Blechingley, whose History of Banstead was 
published by the Oxford University Press in 1912, I am indebted for both deeds and words — all 
the deeds and papers in his possession, and many words of criticism and help throughout. 

To Mr. H. E. Maiden, M.A., Member of the Council and Honorary Secretary of our Surrey 
Archaeological Society and also of the Royal Historical Society, I owe especial thanks for his 
kindness in reading the draft of the first three chapters (including the account of the de Clares), 
and for his notes and suggestions. Since then much matter has been added, so that while 
Mr. Maiden has eliminated many blunders, he is responsible for none of those which appear. 


To the late Mr. Charles Baker King, A.R.I.B.A., of Dean's Yard, Westminster, I am debtor 
for much help about the architecture of St. Mary's and for ground plans at various dates, on 
which has been based the plan shewn of the church as it is to-day. His sudden death at the end 
of 1916 has deprived me of the pleasure of making to him in print the acknowledgments which had 
before been so gratefully made in person. 

To the officials at the Public Record Office and at the MSS. Department of the British Museum 
a debt is due, as it always is, from all who haunt those places, for much courtesy and patient help ; 
and among them I must specially mention Mr. Hilary Jenkinson and Mr. Gilson. Nor must I 
forget the assistance often kindly given by Mr. J. F. X. Fincham, Librarian of the Principal 
Probate Registry at Somerset House ; nor that afforded by Mr. C. S. Wooldridge, Diocesan 
Registrar at Winchester. 

Many old friends and neighbours, and others connected with the parish, have given help of 
another kind, without which this book could never have been written — viz., by giving me facilities 
to inspect, and in many cases the actual loan of deeds and papers of all kinds. The late lord of 
the manor must needs be named first; — Mr. W. A. Bell of Pendell Court. Would that his Court 
Rolls were not so scanty ! but all that he had were placed at my disposal. His recent death was a 
grief to the whole parish for which he had done so much. 

Mr. Master of Barrow Green, lord of the manor of Oxted, lent me the whole of his old deeds, 
and though naturally they mostly deal with Oxted, some valuable early Blechingley charters are 
among them. 

Mr. Clement Pain of Kentwyns, Nutfield, and of Finchley Road, the lineal representative of 
the old yeoman family of Clement in Blechingley and Nutfield, mosb kindly allowed me the freeest 
use of all his Blechingley deeds, including the Carew Court Roll, which was of the greatest service. 

Our late rector, the Rev. A. H. de Fontaine, who took great interest in the progress of this 
book, which he has not lived alas ! to see in print, gave me constant access to the parish registers, 
as did also the Rev. Hartwell Jones, D.D., rector of Nutfield. To the Rev. F. Hooper, rector of 
Home, and the Rev. C. Salmon, vicar of Chiddingstone, I am indebted for similar help. 

To my late friend and neighbour, Sir Walpole Greenwell, Bart., successor in title to the 
Clayton lordship of Godstone, I owe the kindness with which he placed his valuable Clayton Estate 
Survey Book and other documents at my disposal, and to his son, Sir Bernard, I owe also thanks. 
One special word of thanks I must further add for the courteous assistance always afforded me 
by Mr. Ashdown, assistant overseer and clerk to the parish council of Blechingley ; and the same 
is due to the churchwardens. 

Acknowledgments have been made in the notes as occasion serves, and I trust that, where so 
much kindness and interest have been shewn during years of preparation, no due thanks have been 

It is a sadness to the ending of a long history of little things that so many friends who knew 
and loved them have passed on, so that these thanks are but too often paid to those who will not 
read them. 

To Mr. Ernest Christie I am indebted for the kindness with which he placed so many of his 

clever sketches at my disposal. Did not the heavy cost of reproduction nowadays forbid, I should 

have wished to have included more of them. 



Lastly, but far from least, I must express liow mucb. I owe to my collaborator Mr. Jarvis 
Kenrick, who first suggested that we should produce a history of the parish we both love. I had 
hoped that he would have written some part of it himself, in which case many obvious omissions — 
e.g., that of any attempt to deal with the history of the Poor law in Blechingley — would have been 
supplied ; but he preferred to confine himself entirely to the illustrations, while at the same time 
affording me all the help possible from his large store of local knowledge and local deeds, and 
maintaining the greatest interest in the progress of the book throughout the writing of it. 

For a few other illustrations from various sources acknowledgment is made on the plates. 

Special effort has been made to give full references, and it is hoped they will be found 
(generally) correct. 

One word must be said about spelling. In all cases where local names occur they are given 
exactly as spelt in the deed which is being quoted from or summarized. But in the case of 
" foreign " place names, unless there is any special reason, the spelling has been modernized so 
that the place may be more easily recognized. In the same way family names are spelt as they 
appear in local deeds or wills when these are quoted, but when writing generally they are 
modernized, as d'Audley for Daudele, or Barber for Babour. 

As regards dates, the regnal years (which in mediaeval documents are often the only year date 
given) have been cut out, and the year is given always in " modern style," reckoning January 1st 
as New Year's day and not Lady day (which was New Year's day till 1752). Thus, "March 10, 
1st Hen. VIII., 1509-10," is given simply as "March 10, 1510." 

( xi ) 


Eroktispiece and Title. 



Table of Contents 

List of Illustrations, Maps and Pedigrees 

Table of Abbreviations . 

Errata. Addenda et Corrigenda . 

Chapter I. — Introductory 

Chapter II. — Blecbingley in Domesday Book — The Castle 

Chapter III. — The de Clares — 

i. — The earlier generations to the death of the 2nd earl of Hertford in 1173 

ii. — The earldom of Gloucester. The de Clares as Charter lords, and to the death of the 

first earl of Gloucester and Hertford in 1230 ..... 

Hi. — Earl Eichard's minority — Eoger de Clare — De Clare grave-stones in Norfolk 

iv. — Earl Eichard {continued) — His wealth ; his avarice ; his moderation — His death in 



-The Eed earl and his career — His changes of sides and turbulence — The king's son 
in-law ......... 

vi. — Bogo ....... 

vii. — Thomas de Clare and his family history — The Eed earl's last years — Joan of Acre 
and Monthermer ....... 

viii. — The last earl — Bannockburn ..... 

ix. — The co-heiresses ...... 

Appendix. — Nicholas de Clare and his descendants. 
Chapter IV. — Deeds and Notices — 

i. — Early deeds and notices — An early 13th century list of householders (compiled) 
«.— The first extent of the Manor, 1262 .... 

Hi. — The second extent, 1296 — A Sussex Blechinglegh 
iv. — The last de Clare extents, 1307 and 1314 
Chapter V. — Deeds and Notices {continued) — 

•'. — The le Venours — A Norman Erench petition — The Lay Subsidy of 1332 — Estimated 
population — Earliest notices of Pendell Manor ..... 

ii. — Parksilver — The d'Audley extent, 1347 — The Stafford lordship . 
Chapter VI. — Garstone and Stangrave — 

i. — Garstone .....••• 

ii. — Stangrave .....••• 

6 2 
















Chapter YII. — The North Park, Hextalls and the Manor — 

i. — Hill Camp and Pilgrims' Way — Manorial bounds — The Hexstall brothers . . 228 

Appendix. — The family of Hexstall, and pedigree ..... 243 

it. — The new manor house and the last duke of Buckingham — Sir Nicholas Carew, 

K.Cr. — Anne of Cleves and her palace ...... 247 

in. — Sir Thomas Cawarden and the Place — Lady Jane Grey and the "Wyatt rebellion — 

Cawarden's armoury — His magnificence — His death and burial — His will . . . 257 

iv. — The Howard and Peterborough lordships — The end of Place and Park — The Little 

Park in recent days ........ 273 

v. — Sir Robert Clayton and his successors ..... 278 

Chapter VIII. — The Manor of Pendell — 

i. — The TJvedale and Saunder lordships ..... 281 

it. — Holdings and Tenants — The Pendell rentals ..... 287 

Hi. — Bennetts and the Bridgells ...... 300 

iv. — The Holmans — The building of Pendell Court — Consolidation of the property and 

extinction of the manor ........ 304 

v.— Pendell (GHyd's house) . . . . . . .313 

vi.— Little Pendhill ........ 318 

Appendix to Vol. I. — Knights of the Shire and members for the Boro' of Blechingley . 320 to 332 

( xiii ) 



— Frontispiece. — Blechingley Village from the south-east. 
3 i. The Old Brew-house, ii. Brewerstreet Farm. Hi. Parsonage, or Stychens Lane (closed for wheeled 

traffic in 1803). 
6 Blechingley, from the chalk hills looking south. 
17 i. The Blechingley Market Place and Village Pump (from a sketch by E. Christie, N.B.A.). ii. Hypo- 

caust discovered at Pendell, (Plan). 
35 Cottage in Brewer Street. (From a sketch by E. Christie, N.B.A.) 

49 i. Gilbert de Clare, 1st earl of Hertford (o.s.p. 1173). ii. Ei chard de Clare, 3rd earl (d. 1217). 
107 Church Eow, Blechingley. (From a sketch by E. Christie, N.B.A.) 
139 i. Seal of Gilbert de Clare, last earl. ii. His reputed tomb at Tewkesbury. 

144 Tewkesbury Abbey ; N.W. window of choir. 

145 „ „ ; S.W. „ „ „ 

146 „ ,, ; fragment of a Dispenser (?) tomb, shewing the last earl with inverted torch. 
153 Three early 13th-century Blechingley charters. 

158 i. Brick-kiln, formerly Prestwell. ii. ¥m. de la Bowre to John Cope, c. 1260. 

179 i. Lake Cottages, ii. School Bank before 1887. 

200 i. Blechingley cypher, ii. Supposititious coat armour for Blechingley. 

206 Henry Stafford, 2nd duke of Buckingham. 

227 i. Ivy Mill, with pond and dam. ii. Court Lodge, Blechingley. 

231 i. The Hermitage, formerly Little Park Lodge and once Hexstalls. ii. White Hill from the south. 

(From a picture postcard, by kind permission of Mr. D. Quinlan of the Post Office, Blechingley.) 
233 "White Hill seen from the west. (From a picture postcard, by kind permission of Mr. D. Quinlan of the 

Post Office, Blechingley.) 
247 i. Place Farm. ii. Eough sketch of the Place from the map of Pendell manor in 1622. Hi. Detail 

shewing Georgian door and fanlight cutting the Tudor entrance. 
251 i. Edward Stafford, 3rd duke of Buckingham, ii. Sir Nicholas Carew, K.G. 
255 The Lady Anne of Cleves. — i. From a portrait by Holbein, ii. From Holbein's drawing in the royal 

262 i. Sir Thomas Cawardeu's tomb at Blechingley. ii. Tomb of Anne of Cleves in Westminster Abbey. 
273 i. Charles Howard, 2nd baron Howard of Effingham, 1st earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral, K.G. 

ii. William Howard, 1st baron Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral. 
275 Mantelpiece at Eeigate Priory. (By kind permission of the Proprietors of " Country Life.") 
279 i. Sir Eobert Clayton, ii? The Clayton monument. (From a picture postcard, by kind permission of 

Mr. D. Quinlan of the Post Office, Blechingley.) 
281 i., ii. Pendell Court to-day. 
291 A Pendell rental of William Uvedale in 1451. 

306 i., ii. Eobert Holman and Anne (Brereton) his wife of Pendhill Court. Hi. The dog gates at the front 


307 i., ii., Hi. Pendell Court in 1760. (From water-colour sketches.) 

310 Pendhill Court in 1776. (By P. Sandby, E.A.) 

311 i., ii. Mr. and Mrs. George Scullard. Hi. The Scullard and Perkins famihes at Pendell Court. 

iv., v. Mr. and Mrs. J. G. W. Perkins. 



314 Pendell House. — i. From the south, it. From the north. 

314 Pendell House. — i. The old mill-pond. (From a water-colour sketch, c. 1760.) ii. The garden wall 
against "Westlands. 

318 *. Little Pendhill, called the Manor House, from Thomas land. ii. Pendell House from the south. 

319 i. Stoners, c. 1780. ii. Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, K.B. Hi. Little Pendhill in 1787. 


9 Geological map of S.E. Surrey, Tandridge Hundred. 
27 Folding map of Blechingley, shewing probable cultivations and wastes in 1086. 
41 Blechingley Castle. — i. Plan of keep. ii. General ground plan. 
228-9 Northern bounds of manor, parish and North Park, showing Hill Camp and Pilgrims' Way. Adapted 

from the Ordnance Map, by kind permission of H.M.'s Stationery Office. 
235 North Park farm. (From the Clayton Estate Survey in 1761.) 
305 A map of Pendell Manor in 1622. 


43 Folding pedigree of de Clare. 
244-6 Hexstall or Hextall (in text). 
302 Bridgell (in text). 
312 Holman, Perkins and Kenrick. 

( xy ) 


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Prompt. Parv. — " Promptorium Parvulorum ; Lexicon Anglo Latinum princeps." c. 1440. Ed. Albert "Way. 

Camden Society. 3 vols. 1842. 

R. Dicet. — " Radulfi de Diceto decani Lundoniensis Opera." R.S. ; Stubbs. 1876. 

Reg. Epist. J. Peckham. — "Registrum Epistolarum Joannis Peckham." (Archbp. Cant.) R.S. 3 vols. 

Reg. — Parish Register of Blechingley. 

Reg. Winton. — Bishop's Register of Wills at the Diocesan Registry at Winchester. (Originals chiefly.) 
Registr. Roff. — Registrum Roffense. A collection of ancient records, etc., of the Diocese of Rochester. 

John Thorpe. Folio. 1769. 
R. Hist. Lett. — " Royal and other Historical Letters illustrating reign of Henry VIII." R.S. ; Shirley. 

R.O.— Public Record Office. 
R.S.— Rolls Series. 

Rot. de Obi. et Fin. — Rotuli de Oblatis et Finibus temp. Regis Johannis. Record Commission. Hardy. 1835. 
Rot. Cane. 3 Joh. — Rotulus Cancellarii (Pipe Rolls) de 3° an Johannis. Record Commission. 1833. 

S.A.C.— " Surrey Archaeological Collections.' 1 33 vols. 1858—1920. 

Salmon. — " Antiquities of Surrey, collected from the most ancient Records." By N. Salmon, LL.B. 1736. 

Skeat.— " Etymological Dictionary of the English Language." W. W. Skeat, Litt.D. 4to. 1898. 

Soc. Eng. — " Social England." Traill and Mann. Cassell and Co. 6 vols. No date. 

Spelman. — "Glossarium Archaiologicum." Henry Spelman. London. 1787. 

1 In the text, for brevity, this great work is always quoted as " Manning says," instead of " Manning and Bray lay." 



Stratinann. — "A Middle-English Dictionary." (12th — 15th cent.) By F. H. Stratmaun. New edition revised 

and enlarged by Hy. Bradley. Oxford. 1911. 
Stubbs.— " Constitutional History of England." W. Stubbs, D.D. Oxford. 3 vols. 1880. 
Surr. Rec. Soc. — Surrey Becord Society. 

Suss. A.C.— " Sussex Archaeological Collections." 61 vols. 1848—1920. 
Suss. Rec. Soc. — Sussex Record Society. 

Traill and Mann.—" Social England." By H. D. Traill, D.C.L., and J. S. Mann, M.A. 5 vols. Sin. 4to. 
Cassell and Co. No date. 

V.C.H.— " Victoria County History of Surrey." (Other counties. " V.C.H. Hants," etc.) 
"Visit. Surr., 1623.—" Visitations of Surrey, 1530, 1572, 1623." Harleian Society. Vol. XLIII. 1899. 
Do. do. 1662.— " Visitation of Surrey, 1662— 68." Harleian Society. Vol. LX. 1910. 

Walt. Cov.— " Memoriale fratris Walteri de Coventria." R.S. ; Stubbs. 2 vols. 1872—73. 
Westm. — "Westminster. 

Tpod. Neust. — " Chronicon Monasterii S. Albani, Tpodigma Neustriae a Thoma Walsingham quondam monacho 
S. Albani." Ed. Hy. T. Riley. R.S. 1876. 

( xix ) 

Kal e? fiev atcpoacnv laws to fir) fivdwhes avrwv drepTrearspov (paveiTaf oaot he 
f3ov\rjaovTai tS>v re yevofxivcov to (ratyes aKoirelv Kal rcov fxeWovTwv rrore av6ts Kara 
to avdpdiTreiov toiovtcov Kal Trapa7r\r)aL(Dv eaeadai, a)(f)i\ip,a Kpiveiv aura dpKovvrwi e£«. 

Thuctdides, I., 22. 

.... And very likely the strictly historical character of my narrative may be 
disappointing to the ear. But if he who desires to have before his eyes a true 
picture of the events which have happened, and of the like events which may be 
expected to happen hereafter in the order of human things, shall pronounce what 
I have written to be useful, then I shall be satisfied. Jowett's rendering. 

People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their 


Bueke, on the French Revolution, 360. 

Love thou thy land, with love far brought 
From out the storied Past, and used 
Within the Present, but transfused 

Thro' future time by power of thought. 




Page 16, line 14. For " Langley's " read " Langland's." 

Page 25, 15th line from bottom. For " Bockelunt " read " Bochelant." 

Page 44, line 10. For " St. Evreul " read " St. Evroul." 

Page 70, 4th line from bottom. For " stronger in time " read " stronger in him." 

Page 169, line 8. For " E. Bath, et Well." read " E. Bath, et Well." 

Page 229, 20th line from bottom. For " 1854 " read " 1876," as date of building of The Mound. 

Page 243. For " Appendix to Chapter III., i." read " Chapter VII., i." 

Page 307, line 6. For " Briscoe " read " Biscoe." 


Page 55, 16th line from bottom. Delete " (le Brun)," who was Hugh XI. See p. 78. 

Page 102, line 19. "Isabella [daughter of the Eed earl by Alice of Angouleme], remarried with Guy de 
Beauchamp, earl of Warwick." 

The quotation from Papal registers seems to be the only notice of this alliance, so it was perhapi 
only a contract not carried out. D.N.B. records no wife of Guy, and Eoger de Mortimer owed £300 
to " Isabella, d. of Gib' de Clare, late e. of Glouc. & Htfd." in 1315, which reads oddly if she was 
eountess of Warwick. [C.E., 1315 (213).] 

Page 103, line 4. Edmund, e. of Cornwall, regent 1286 — 89, was son of Eich d of Cornwall and so first cousin, 
not brother, of Edward I. 

Page 120, 3rd line of 2nd para. " Sarg' scheker." My brother points out that this more probably means " Serge 
chequers," i.e., garments or blankets with a chess-board pattern — our modern " checks." Of. N.E.D. 
chequer III., 14, where however the earliest quotation of checker as " a fabric with a chequered 
pattern" is in 1542. 

Page 127, 9th and 10th liDes from bottom. "Thomas [de Clare] .... was dead before April 20 th , 1322, when 


It seems however that he was married, for in 1327 " Isabella, late wife of Thos. de Clare, staying 
in England," had letters nominating attorneys. P.E., 1327 (146). 

Page 182, last line but one. " Gaysham is a manor in Cudham, not far from Tatsfield." 

So M. & B., II., 291, note h, but this appears to be an error. Gaysham farm is in Westerham 
near the Surrey boundary and the parish of Tatsfield ; it was held by the Shelleys, temp. Edward III. 
(Philipott), but does not appear ever to have been a manor, nor does Hasted mention any Gaysham in 

Page 191, 5th line from top (in Subsidy List). " Walter Ocolaw," not classified. 

It is perhaps simply for Ocolev, i.e., coming from Ockley. 
Page 202, top line. " Henry atte Helde .... possibly the same as Michenhale." 

No, for in d'Audley's I. P.M. (p. 199) Henry de Michenhale and Henry atte Helde are both 

Page 252, 11 lines from bottom. Birling is in Kent, not Sussex. 

Netherhall, naturally a common name, i.e., " Low Hall." It is not identified. 



Blechingley, or Bletcliingley as it is spelt by the Post Office and the Parish Council, lies at the 
east-south-east end of Surrey, in the hundred of Tandridge, the petty sessional division, union, and 
rural district of Godstone, the Redhill and Eeigate county court district, the rural deanery of 
Godstone, the archdeaconry of Kingston, and the diocese of Southwark. Before the Act of 1705, 
which, by making Home a separate parish, gave legal effect to a convenient and for very many 
generations an already well-marked division, the parish included Home, and thus extended from 
Caterhain and Chaldon on the north to the Sussex boundary on the south, where it joined Worth 

In very early days Blechingley had really no southern boundary, for the south of Surrey and 
the north of Sussex were alike indeterminate, the edges of both counties being covered by the 
almost uninhabited forest of Andred, which formed a natural barrier, rather than a boundary, 
between two Saxon kingdoms. 

Worth, a huge woodland parish of some 13,400 acres bounding the southern ends of Home, 
Burstow, Horley, and part of Charlwood, is not recorded in the Domesday survey for Sussex, and 
Orde in Eeigate Hundred of the Surrey survey had been generally identified as Worth, and was 
thus considered to afford clear evidence of this haziness of frontier between the counties even so 
late as 1086. This identification was adopted in the Victoria County History for Surrey, until 
Lord Hylton pointed out to Mr. Maiden the existence of North and South Wor in the Merstham 
Court Eolls of 1522, the name being still preserved in Worsted Green by Albury Farm ; and this 
Merstham identification is now held to be the more probable. 1 This dropping of the " w," as in the 
Domesday form Odemestore for Woodmansterne, is not peculiar, and can be heard to this day in 
a south country mouth speaking of " a stick o' 'ood ;" while Worth itself can boast a church which 
was pronounced to be Saxon by Mr. Bloxam and others before 1856," and is now held to be so beyond 
all doubt. Worth is chiefly on the Hastings beds, which extend into Surrey beneath the heathy 
ground of Copthorne and Hedgecourt Commons at the extreme south of Home, which itself in 
1086 can have existed only as a small cultivated clearing in the deep forest on the clay. 

When the counties, at some unrecorded date, had their limits fixed, perhaps gradually and 
almost insensibly, Blechingley (including Home) naturally extended as far as Sussex, and so 
comprised, with its two outlying parts of Ham and Harrowsley, over 10,000 acres. 3 It was thus 
the largest parish in the county, measuring at the north end roughly two miles in width for some 
three miles southwards, and then narrowing to a mile and a half, or not much less, for a further 
five miles. This length of eight miles from the chalk downs, southwards through upper greensand, 
gault, lower greensand, and the old forest on the wealden clay, to the county bounds is not 

1 V. C. H., I., 316, and II., 5 and 6. Corrected in III., 217. 2 Suss. A. C, VIII., 245-6. 

3 1841 Tithe Maps. Blechingley 5585 3 20 including Ham (180 acres). 
Horne . 4531 3 10 „ Harrowsley. 

10,117 2 3Q 


exceptional. It is, in fact, the normal arrangement of Surrey parishes having one end on the chalk 
hills, 1 and its length is actually exceeded by both its eastern neighbours, Tandridge and Godstone. 
They, however, are mere strips along old trackways compared with the generous breadth of 
Blechingley, which, as if further to emphasize its width, had, a mile distant from its western 
boundary, though separated by intervening portions of the parishes of Nutfield and Burstow, two 
detached and dependent parts — Ham, lying a long two miles south-west of Blechingley church, and 
the ancient stronghold known as Harwardsley, Haroldslegh, or Harrowsley, also called Thunders- 
field, on the wealden clay some two miles south-west of where Home Chapel was later built for the 
growing hamlet there. Blechingley is now bounded by Caterham and Chaldon on the north 
Merstham, Nuffield, and Burstow on the west, Burstow and Home on the south, and Godstone on 
the east, while Ham was legally absorbed into Nuffield in 1894. 

It is the extreme north of the parish which has retained the earliest traces of man's settlement, 
although it seems no prehistoric burials have been found in Blechingley. But here on White Hill, 
at the highest point of the chalk downs in the parish, some 750 feet or more above the sea, was 
a prehistoric camp. Manning says that it was called the Cardinal's Cap, and tells how the traces 
of " fortified works " remained. The hill-top, which drops sharply both northwards and southwards, 
is the last eminence before the chalk range sinks towards Merstham westwards, while to the east 
it is protected by the depression, through which the pass (or hawse, as fell-folk would call it) leads 
from Blechingley to Caterham. Even now from the greensand ridge of Blechingley the hill-top, 
despite quarrying and planting, suggests the biretta shape which, when bare of trees and with its 
ancient earthworks showing sharply up, doubtless earned for it the name of Cardinal's Cap. It 
overlooks Woodcote and the Harestone Valley in Caterham on the north, and southwards the whole 
plain of Blechingley with Merstham and Godstone on either side, while it has been computed that 
the old earthworks, chiefly in Blechingley but partly in Caterham, must once have enclosed some 
twenty acres. The name of War Coppice suggested to the older county historians that there had 
been a battle here, but the more scientific topographer of the Victoria County History suggests 
that the name is connected with that of Warwick Wood close by, 2 while " the Wor " already 
alluded to as lying further west in Merstham had possibly the same origin. War Coppice still 
exists as a name, but only of a private house, 3 by the carriage-drive of which the best preserved 
length of fosse and scarp can yet be seen. But the labours of generations, excavating long since 
abandoned chalk-pits and erecting more recently occupied houses and gardens, have so altered the 
whole character of the ground that nothing can be added to what Mr. Maiden says, that "there is 
a trace of a great hill-top camp of refuge of a probably early date." On the north side of the 
obliterated camp the old east and west track, known later as the Pilgrims' Way, enters Blechingley 
parish and dips in a south-easterly direction below the brow of the chalk hills, and was doubtless 
a trodden way long before written records. 

But though the prehistoric fort is now scarcely visible, it is not a bad way to get a first idea of 
the parish to go from the higher end of the village up to the old Hill Camp. From Castle Square 
on the main Redhill road, hard by where the Norman stronghold stood, and the manorial pound 
(converted to modern uses 1 ) still exists, directly northwards, past the Council schools and down the 
steep way called at different times Parsonage or Stichens or Schoolhouse Lane, one must go on 
foot (or trace it on the map), for one cannot ride or drive very far. Here runs the deep abandoned 
way, once the chief local high-road to Croydon and London. Long before manorial courts in 
Henry VIII. 's day fined tenants for letting rocks and roots obstruct it, it had been hollowed out 
through the greensand, perhaps by those who sought the hill-top refuge. So down, skirting one of 

1 See V. C. H., II. 6-7, with Mr. Maiden's diagram. 3 Now owned by Mr. Stuart Greig. 

2 Warwick, howerer, quite possibly comes from a terri- 4 An iron shed in the pound houses the street lamps of 
torial name. the Tillage during summer. 





























the common fields on the east, on a good footpath always, above the deserted road (now used partly 
for a village dust-tip, which is like to serve for years from its capacity), to where, by the garden 
wall of the old Rectory, 1 the forsaken road becomes once more a highway ; so still straight north- 
wards, leaving the old Rectory on the west, past a few old tenements on the east (including the 
Brew-house, from which this ancient " street " took its name in Tudor days) to Brewer Street Farm, 
the conspicuous half-timbered house on the west ; then gently up to where Place Farm, a few yards 
eastwards, marks the Manor House of Blechingley, while the picturesque tumbling barns of 
Holloway abut upon the road opposite — the old Hollow Way, long since disused, which once 
connected Water Lane, on which the Roman villa stood, with this main White Hill road. So up 
the hill gradually, past the old entrance to North Park and Hextalls on the east, and where, as 
chalk meets gault, a spring, once doubtless known to Canterbury pilgrims and now tapped for 
modern Pendell use, still often makes a clear rivulet by the western side of the roadway at Black- 
bushes, on, up the steepening and stiff climb, to near where the Hill-Camp stood and Blechingley 
joins Caterham. 

Here, eastwards off the high road, a bye-way leads to the Caterham Water Tower, built some 
years ago by the East Surrey Water Co., which has so largely helped to develop the lovely but 
waterless hilltops of the downs ; and here one may see Blechingley — Blechingley at least, as for all 
its 10,000 acres, it counted when it first became a parish. The chalk hills fall steeply below, their 
steepness often accentuated by old quarries, but this helps to choose a broader view of the valley 
beneath. If the hill-camp man suspected attack from the south, surely from so commanding a spot 
no enemy of any numbers, even in a country more densely wooded than it is now, could approach 
so suddenly as to seize the women and children, the flocks and herds, which the camp sheltered. 
Across the edge of the bare down — and it may be supposed (even by those who would have us 
believe our North downs to have been once thickly wooded) that clearings, or at least wide eyelets 
for watchmen, would be made around such refuge camps, and watched incessantly with the tireless 
sight of men whose lives depended so largely on their physical senses — a multitude of eyes could 
spy the slightest suspicious movement in the vale beneath. There perhaps, widely scattered, 
the young menfolk would lie in ambush for an advancing foe, and the final outcome of the 
day (if ever such encounters were decisive) be appraised, before it was too late to fly, or else 
the loved victors welcomed back, to know that the time of stress and hunger in the refuge camp 
was over. 

Those long gone Neolithic people whose blood went to the making of so early a strain of our 
race, and whose type is still strong among us, 2 looked directly across the earliest cultivated and 
most important acres of Blechingley on the fertile greensand valley which stretches from Merstham 
to Godstone. Here, westwards, lie the traces of the only Roman settlement known in the parish, 
near to Pendell ; eastwards, towards Godstone is the erstwhile manor of Chivington, an earlier and 
larger Saxon settlement than Blechingley itself; while immediately below, hard by Place Farm, the 
manor house of later days, field names still preserve the memory of the old common fields of the 
village community. 

In the middle distance the lower greensand ridge, which traverses the whole of Surrey from 
Hindhead and Leith Hill, by Reigate Hill and Redstone Hill, dips gently over the fullers' earth pits 

1 The house has since about 1900 ceased to be the Celtic type " as photographed in South Wales to-day, given ic 
Parsonage, but as a lay dwelling house, owned by Mr. Ernest Traill and Mann's" Social England," I., 2. See also Dr. Keith, 
Wood, is still known as " the Old Rectory." the craniologist, in "The Antiquity of Man " (1920), p. 43, 

2 "The early Neolithic type .... is still a predominating who says "The tongue spoken in England has changed several 
type amongst the working population of England." Dr. times, yet the backbone of the British population is a diiect 
Bcddoe. " Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, 1914," continuation and perpetuation of the river-bed stock of the 
quoted by Rev. A. H. Sayce, D.D., in a letter to the " Times " Neolithic period." 

Dec. 28, 1914. Cf. the striking picture of the "Iberian and 

E 2 


at Nuffield, and rises gradually again to the eminence of some 530 feet, where the earliest Norman 
lord set up his castle, protecting the houses already clustering on the eastern slope round the 
church of Bleehingley. Here at the village foot, where the road to the south and to sequestered 
Home breaks through the gap, the ridge rises again gently eastwards, towards what was once all 
the wind-swept sands and open ling of Rabies Heath and East Chart, till it passes beyond the 
parish to break in the bolder bluff of Tilburstow. 

South of the greensand ridge, which thus divides the parish from west to east, there was a far 
less varied landscape to be seen. The great Coed Andred of the Celts, the Anderida Silva of the 
.Romans, the Anderides Wald of the Saxon, the " Weald " of Surrey, Kent and Sussex reached 
upwards as far as congenial soil and want of human energy allowed it. 

It may well be supposed that in the earliest days the tangled growth of stunted oaks, of sloes 
and briar roses and quick thorns stretched up to the very ridge of Bleehingley itself, though the 
lighter soil there, and on the ridge of Sandhills just below, made their extirpation easier than 
where, further south, decayed oak fell on oak and lay in a rotting mass, covered with moss and 
briar, impenetrable to sun and air, above the stagnant pools in the retentive soil. 

So it is a very beautiful and varied view from near where the hill-camp stood, and it teaches 
how largely soil moulded the early history of Surrey ; for though you overlook, perhaps, but some 
two or three of the ten thousand acres of the whole parish (since the steep fall of the land below 
the village ridge and again below Outwood Common hides much, besides nearly all Home 1 ), you see 
all that was at first inhabited. The only Roman settlement in Bleehingley was on the greensand 
of Pendell; south-westwards at Horley, Roman coins and pottery have been found, and south- 
eastwards at Lingfield, on the Hastings sand, there was found in 1810 a fine engraved gold Roman 
ring ; but south of Bleehingley itself and through Home to the Sussex bounds the map of Roman 
remains is blank. 2 Nowhere in the weald is found a stiffer, more tenacious clay than in the south 
of Bleehingley and Home, and in few places probably did the primeval denseness of "Coed 
Andred " longer remain unpierced. The Romans drove their south road from Chichester to 
Pulborough and Billingshurst, through the weald by Ockley to Dorking, and then through Epsom 
and Tooting to the Thames at Southwark ; but in south Surrey the weald on either side remained 
almost untouched, a dark tangled mass of vegetation, uninhabited by man and looked on with dread 
by the ancient Britons as the dwelling-place of evil spirits. 3 

Before ever the Romans came the south-east of England had already seen incursions and 
settlements of Keltic tribes, especially no doubt of those who, like the Belgse, had, in Gaul and on 
the Rhine, been in contact with Roman arms and Roman government ; while Britain had long been 
known to distant traders, and probably had a considerable export trade in com from Kent and 
Surrey, as it certainly had in tin from Cornwall. The Roman domination first checked such 
invasions and introduced Roman arts and methods, including the Roman system of wide estates 
(latifundia) woiked from a central villa or lord's homestead by slave labour — a system which 
already presented many of the features of the later manor with its tenants in villenage. Indeed, 
how far Roman methods silently survived from the days of Roman occupation through all the 
subsequent invasions ; how far such uses may have been even strengthened in England by those of 

1 The picture postcard reproduced here was not taken 
from the extreme top, whence the camera could hardly succeed 
so well as in this view, which Mr. Konrick said he could not 
better. An acknowledgment is due to the unknown who 
took it. 

7 See V. C. II., IV., 343 and map, which, however, shews 
the Roman villa at Biechingley south of the village, whereas 
it stood on Water Lane at Pendell. 

1 Whothpr the Roman road through the gap from Cntor- 
hani to God.stono and over Tilburetow 11 ill turned aside to 

Lingfield or continued southwards seems still d uhtful, but in 
any case it rati through no part of Biechingley or Home. 
Lambarde says the British word anrused meant great or 
wonderful, and so was fittingly applied to the immense weald. 
Dr. Guest in "Origines Celtics," II., 42, says it means the 
uninhabited country from the negative An, and Tred, a 
dwelling. Other suggested derivations are am (the) dhhn 
(oak forest) dy (black), or else merely a patronymic. (" Arch. 
Cant.," XIV., 3».) The last seems most unlikely. 


tha invaders who had already known and partially adopted Roman methods on the Continent, is an 
undecided question of our early history. Together with advanced civilization Roman rule early 
brought Christianity to Britain, and (setting aside the Glastonbury and Irish legends) Tertullian 
definitely wrote in or about 208 that Christianity was known in parts inaccessible to Roman arms. 
Certainly a settled British church already existed years before Constantine adopted a Christian 
emblem as the imperial standard, for three British bishops attended the Council of Aries in 314. 
Two of them came respectively from the northern and southern capitals of York and London, while 
the third, Adelphus, was perhaps Bishop of Richborough (Rutupire) in Kent, close to where 
St. Augustine landed nearly 300 years later. 

But even before the end of the third century the Roman power was weakening and " Saxon " 
raids had begun again. To repel them the Romans fortified the east coast from Dunwich far round 
along the south to the Isle of Wight, appointing a special officer as " Comes littoris Saxonici " (the 
Count of the Saxon-harried coast line), whose headquarters were at London, while his colleague 
" dux Britanniarum " (Duke of the Britains) was at York. So long as Roman soldiers remained in 
the island no permanent foothold was obtained by the invaders, and recent discoveries in the 
Roman stronghold of Pevensey have proved that the forts along the " Saxon shore " were 
strengthened as late as 395 — 407. 1 The Arthurian legend, crystallized by Malory and bejewelled in 
the Idylls of the King, recalls dim memories of the Christian Romano-British stand against the 
fierce Teutonic heathen, and Sir Lawrence Gomme did not scruple to identify King Arthur with 
Artorius, a Roman Governour 3 and ally of Vortigern. But after the recall of the legions by 
Stilicho in 407, the British tribes, who had perhaps never so thoroughly assimilated Roman culture 
or Roman customs as the Gauls did, but who had " disused the arts of war without thoroughly 
learning those of peace" (as Dr. Stubbs put it), became a prey to Picts and Scots in the north, and 
Jutes and Angles in the south ; while their incessant feuds and wars among themselves reduced the 
Roman towns they could not defend, to ruin, and the country to a state of desolation. 

The pall of the dark ages falls over the island, and history is speechless in England for many 
generations ; but there can be no doubt that the incursions of all the various tribes and races, 
loosely covered by the composite name of Anglo-Saxon or the generic names of Dane, Jute and 
Norseman, continued through long years. In fact it was no exaggeration which led the late 
Professor Cramb to declare that for 600 years the best Norse and Teutonic blood, the most valiant 
and enterprising and hardiest members of all their tribes, were poured almost continuously into 
England towards the making of our nation. 3 

It was not long after the Romans had finally gone before the forays on the coast line began to 
develop into more systematic penetration of the interior, and a hasty retreat with spoils was 
exchanged for a settling down to enjoy the fruits of victory. Henrj* of Huntingdon, who wrote his 
Historia Anglorum before 1150, records the capture and destruction of Andevida or Anderides- 
ceaster (Pevensey), one of the chief Romano-British cities in Sussex, as taking place about 490. 
Even by that date invaders may well have already seized on Chivington and Blechingley, attacking, 
however, from the Thames and eastern side, and not through the pathless forest of Andred. Bede, 
at least, says that as early as 449 the Jutes under Hengist and Horsa first permanently established 
themselves in Kent, 4 little more than a generation after the last Roman legion had left the island. 
They were quickly followed by Saxon invasions which spread wherever plunder was to be found and 
defence too feeble, and by the sixth century the Coed Andred of the British had probably already 
become the Anderides Wald of their Teutonic conquerors. 

So, very many of the British, unable to withstand these repeated onslaughts, retired sullenly 

1 " The last days of the Roman wall," by II. II. Crastcr in 1900, republished in 1915, p. 100, he says: " The best blood 

in " Arch. Journ.," N.S., XXI. (1914), 24, etc. of the Teutonic race for 600 years went to the making of 

: " London." Sir L. Gomme, 1914, p. 77. England." Cf. also p. 66. 
a In " Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain " written ' I3ude, Hist. Eccles., I. xv., 36. 


before the victorious and savage heathen to where, in the fastnesses of Wales and Cornwall or in 
the depths of the Wealden Forest, they were more secure from the inroads and oppressions of their 
conquerors. It may be, therefore, not unreasonably supposed that the first serious attempts at 
human settlement in the unkindly country of the south of Blechingley and Home were due to the 
unwilling withdrawal of the British from the better lands, which had been theirs in the happier 
days of Pax Romana. 

The hardy Saxons, among whom mercy was not esteemed a virtue, often no doubt stamped 
out resistance in fire and blood as they did at Anderidesceaster (Pevensey), where iElla and Cissa 
are recorded to have besieged the City and slain " all that dwelt therein," so that " not even one 
Briton was then left." 1 It must be remembered, too, that when a Saxon expedition came to 
England, it moved with bag and baggage. The whole community was transplanted with women, 
children, slaves, and even some of their flocks and herds, as has been shewn by searches in Saxon 
burial places; and this goes far to explain what is historically a very unusual fact, that the invaders 
appear for generations to have learnt nothing — either in speech or manners, customs or religion — 
from the conquered. The Saxons remained heathen for a century or more ; they were christianized 
by Roman missionaries, not by Keltic priests ; and however much fusion of blood gradually ensued, 
the Anglo-Saxon tongue and Saxon laws have remained but little modified by Keltic influence to 
this day. 2 

No doubt in Surrey the large majority of British fled west, or perished, many by fire and 
sword, and still more from exposure aud disease, while such as remained were degraded to a state 
of slavery ; and the greater proportion of serfs to the population which Domesday Book records in 
wealden parishes seems to bear witness to how they sheltered in the forest. Yet the Saxons could 
not extirpate a whole nation ; and moreover, like all conquerors, they would take many British girls 
as wives and still more as concubines, so that a considerable Keltic element must have early blended 
with our Anglo-Saxon forbears. And this, further, is borne out by searches in graves and 
measurements of skulls, while in Blechingley at least, whose de Clare lords were mighty barons on 
the Marches, much Keltic blood was introduced in later days. And so, as Dr. Hodgkin says, we 
may well " accept and glory in the term Anglo-Celt, rather than Anglo-Saxon, as the fitting 
designation of our race." 3 

But the Saxons who brought their wives and flocks with them brought also their own customs, 
and parcelled out the conquered land on the same lines as they had followed in their German 
homes. 4 (Of the Danes and Dane-law we need not speak, for their settlements were in East Anglia 
and other parts remote from Surrey.) 

The Mark or Clan Community was a settlement of Saxons mostly bound together by ties of 
blood and united under a chief, much as Caesar, and later Tacitus, described it. 

The ton, or village, stood in the centre of a clearing, and the primitive inhabitants were careful 
to have a wide space of forest or waste all round them for purposes of hunting and defence. Every 
freeman had his own homestead, with a share in the use of the lands common to the "Mark," in 
return for which he was bound to certain services ; but individual ownership was unknown, and all 
had different lands allotted to them every year. A small area of grass land would be fenced for 
cutting and portioned out till after hay harvest, when it was again thrown open as common 
pasture; 5 the arable was in the same way allotted for twelve months only, while in the undivided 
woods and wastes every freeman might turn out a fixed number of swine and cattle. 

1 A. S. Cbron., 401 a.d., It. S., II., 13. 6 Traces of these early usages still survive in such 

2 CJ. Skoat, "Our English Dialects," Cambridge Manuals, instances as "The Cuts," lotted out to different farmers every 
8i, where he nays that as Latin was the educated langnago of year for haying the water meadows between Haxted Mill and 
the British, the Low German invaders had no need to learn Starbormigh Castle in Liugfield ; while the term "Lammas 
ancient British. land," or grass land thrown open for common pasturage on 

3 "Pol. Ilist. of Eng.," I., 111. August 1, is sullicicntly familiar. 
* Stubbs, I., iii., 65. 


* i I 

I I 





































































CD 0. 


Every such Clan Community became a political unit with its own council to settle the 
allotment of its common land, admit or reject proposing immigrants, and regulate exchange of 
allotments. By degrees, as population increased and agriculture improved, other settlements 
sprang from the isolated "Mark" in filial connection with it, and separate ownership and inequality 
of estate developed themselves. But common arable fields and common rights of wood and pasture, 
with the local gathering of freemen for their own governance and for making their own bye-laws 
remained, while the owners of the original homesteads came, naturally, to be looked upon as the 
leaders or nobilit} 7 . 

The original homestead was the Odal or Edhel, and the Mark village Athelham, and so 
Atheling (adaling) was a nobleman. His free hereditary estate was Alod, and carried no burdens 
except the owner's duty to fight and serve on the Council. 

Below the nobles or Atheling (adaling, nobiles) came the simple freemen (frihling, ingenuiles), 
who descended perhaps from one of the later settlers, or perhaps from an original settler who had 
not inherited the homestead ; they had full rights of the community, possibly even when they 
worked on land which they did not own. 

Lowest of all were the slaves (lazzi, serviles), who were probably by far the largest in numbers, 
being recruited not merely by natural growth of population, but from prisoners taken and tribes 
vanquished, and also from those who escaped starvation by selling themselves for debt or crime, for 
which they could not pay the customary compensation. 

The distinction between the three classes is drawn very sharply by the wergeld, or blood 
money. It cost two or three times as much to kill an adaling as a freeman, and in the same way 
the adaling's oath in " compurgation " weighed twice or thrice as much. " Compurgation " was 
the custom of oath-taking and oath-helping, by which an accused person, when swearing to his 
innocence, was backed by ten or twelve men of his kin, who swore to their belief in his oath. This 
"fritte borgh " or peace-pledge was laid down in England by a law of Athelstan, king of Sussex 
and Kent (d. 854), which bound a suspected person, if not vouched for by his lord, to find twelve 
sureties among his kindred. Later the Norman frank-pledge was referred to this and confused 
with it, owing to the clerks' mistaken belief that fritte meant frank or free. 

The Franks, whose Salic laws (best known because they forbad female succession to the throne) 
are the basis of these notes, had a Court of Justice called Mallus, or the Hundred Court, which 
consisted of all qualified landowners from whom were chosen periodically seven members, called 
Rachimbergs, to draw up the formal decisions of the Court. 

The Graf, or Count, ruled the county or province formed of the aggregation of Hundreds ; but 
from the Hundred Court there was no appeal except direct to the king. 

The Saxons, still simpler, had no king, and on the continent the hundred does not appear 
among them ; but whether the latter were known to them at home or not, they adopted both on 
their settlement in England : and probably the first invasion which left them as alien conquerors in 
a hostile country speedily led to the institution of monarchy. The land was cut up among the 
victorious host, which was the people in arms, divided into hundreds of warriors, sustained and 
united by the bonds of kinship. The division would naturally not be exactly uniform ; for one 
reason they were not numerous enough to populate the whole country, and, for another, natural 
boundaries must have entered largely into the settlement of township areas ; but eventually the 
whole country was divided into hundreds and townships or tithings. The Tithing — of which the 
first mention appears in the reign of Edgar (958 — 975), while Cnut (1014 — 1031) enacted that 
" every freeman be brought into hundred and tithing " — still exists as a sub-division of the parish 
in Surrey and Sussex, Hants, Dorset, Wilts and other counties. What it exactly was cannot be 
answered simply by saying it was the tenth of the hundred ; but it has been suggested that as the 
hundred court was where the freeman paid his civil suit, so the tithing was where he paid his 


church-scot or tenth to the church. More probably perhaps it was merely a linking together of 
some ten or a dozen householders to maintain the king's peace, all being responsible for every 
individual member, while every boy as he grew up would be sworn to the peace-pledge (the fritte- 
borgh already noticed), and thus a new village community gradually took shape. But the complete 
parcelling out of the laud did not come about until the personal basis of the hundred had been lost 
sight of and become geographical, or rather administrative only. Moreover, as the jurisdiction 
of one hundred naturally extended to the borders of the next, public lands were included, so that 
all numerical meaning in the word " Hundred " was obliterated, and the hundreds themselves came 
to be of very varying shapes and sizes. Thus, too, as often as not, hundreds bear the names of 
places which were never themselves of special importance, but from their central position in the 
Hundred contained the mound or ancient tree chosen for the Hundred moot. 

The allotment of land, where the amount to deal with was so ample, naturally followed in the 
first place the requirements of the varying size of the communities, Avith large tracts of wood and 
waste appendant. Then as population grew, townships became more numerous, and the sub- 
division of the hundred with more distinct boundaries came about naturally from growing customs 
of individual ownership and individual responsibility ; while in east Surrey the arrangement of the 
parishes running from chalk hills to county boundary, already noticed, suggests the attempt to give 
each community a share of the varying soils, good and bad alike, for agriculture and for rough 
pasture and for hunting. 

So the association of the freeholders gradually advanced beyond the stage when all land was 
held in common, while still retaining many of the customs and services of common tenure ; or in 
other words perhaps, the body of tenants of one lord, associated under blending customs of 
individual overlordship and communal rights and duties, tended to form the district of one town- 
ship. Meanwhile, hand in hand with this civil development grew the religious organization of the 
country. The first church in the district was the " Minster " (monasterium) or matrix ecclesia, the 
collegiate church to which tithes were primarily payable; but as population grew and new townships 
were formed, mission churches were gradually buiit by pious landowners, where either a single 
township or a group of smaller townships were large enough to call for the separate services of a 
priest. To this priest the local ecclesiastical dues came naturally to be paid, and since his area of 
services conveniently coincided with that owned by the community whom he served, the boundaries 
of such districts tended to become still more fixed. So from early tribal settlements and associations 
of kinsmen in special districts slowly grew the two systems of parish and township insensibly as it 
were with the people's life ; " their existence side by side identical in area and administered by the 
same persons, while separate in character and machinery, for over a thousand years, is sufficient 
proof that no legislative act would have been needed in the first place, even had there been any lay 
council of the nation, which could have sanctioned such a general measure. Often townships were 
too small to support a separate church and priest, so many parishes contain more than one township, 
but to find one township lying in more than one parish is extremely rare, unless accounted for by 
more recent local history." 1 

It is to the Grecian Theodore, a native of S. Paul's city of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury 
from 668 — 690, that has been traditionally ascribed the formation of our parochial system, 
but, as Selden first pointed out, " parochia " (Trapoi/ela, the neighbourhood) in those days 
meant the district of the bishop and not the parish as we use the word. It was the diocesan 
organization which Theodore decided, for in his day the country was not yet nearly settled 
enough for minute sub-division, and indeed Sussex was only then being converted from 
heathenism. The parish was a slower growth as it became common for a thane or landowner 
to build a church on his "hoc land," near his own hall, for himself and his dependents. When he 

1 StubbB, I., viii., 260. 









geological map of s.e. surrey 
Tandridge Hundred 


did so he would ask from the nearest "minster" or collegiate church, his baptismal church or 
ecclesia matrix, for a priest, choosing perhaps the priest he specially wished for, who should be 
allowed to reside and serve the new house of God. Then tithes and offerings would naturally be 
given towards the support of what was virtually a "parish priest," rather than to the more distant 
minster, especially if the new church had a graveyard attached to it. Thus questions arose, and as 
early as 870 King Edgar's laws decreed that such a church should have one third, and the " old 
minster " two thirds of the tithe. So the " parochial " system grew and spread, the builder of the 
church and his successors keeping the power to nominate the priest to serve it (i.e., the presentation 
or advowson — " advocacio," the calling of the priest to it), while the church (not without a struggle 
later on) reserved the right of institution and investiture. But it was not till after the Conquest 
that the word " Paroche," in its present sense, appeared in Norman French, while the thing itself 
was not quite fully fledged until the end of the twelfth century, when church and temporal law 
alike agreed in allowing that tithes belonged to parish churches in default of any other specific 
bequest ; and not until the thirteenth century does " Paroche " appear as an English word. 1 

Nevertheless, it is to the Saxons that belongs the glory of having first parcelled out the 
country for the service of the Almighty, and the parish, with parish church and parish priest, 
existed in fact, though not in name, long before the Conquest. 

The arrangement already noted in east Surrey, by which parishes held long strips from chalk 
downs to county boundary, or on the northern side of the chalk, where from Croydon to Guildford 
parishes take the same elongated shape, does not at first sight suggest convenience of access to a 
central church, though it certainly gave eveiy parish a share of varying soils. But in practice it 
will be found that the township was almost always built upon the greensand ; either the upper 
greensand, immediately below the chalk, where springs were plentiful, or on the wider lower 
greensand further south, where the soil is dry and fertile. 2 Here would be the earliest settlements, 
while the clay below long remained waste or hunting grounds. Of this Blechingley and its 
neighbours afford a striking instance, for a line drawn on the map from Nutfield church outside 
Tandridge hundred on the west to Westevham church outside it on the east, barely nine miles as 
the crow flies, passes within a mile on one side or the other of the churches and villages of 
Blechingley, Godstone, Tandridge, Oxted and Limpsfield, while all seven are on the greensand, and 
all seven parishes have " feet of clay," though not all of them reach their toes to their county 

Among these, though the hundred took its name from Tandridge, Wolcnested (Godstone) 
boasts the chief ecclesiastical antiquity, for a minster church stood there in 950, doubtless the 
mother church of the hundred. 3 And so these churches on the greensand were by no means so 
awkwardly placed as would at first appear ; while in Blechingley at least, when the pioneers on the 
weald had grown numerous, the parish church herself became a mother and planted her daughter 
chapel of ease at Home. 

But Blechingley has other boundaries than its parochial limits, for the manor extended (and 
for that matter extends to-day historically) into both Caterham and Godstone. On the east side it 
comprised all the land between the parish boundary and the Roman road ; at the south end this 
strip was the full width of Godstone Green, giving to the manor all the houses on the north of the 
Green and on Needle's Bank. Tyler's Green, east of the main road, was partly in Blechingley 
manor, and so the strip ran northwards as far as Godstone corner. Hence the manor boundary 
struck north-west and westwai'ds, and then embraced in an irregular parallelogram northwards part 
of Upwode (Tupwood) and all Old Park wood in Caterham. These bounds were described by the 
Court Eoll of 1680, and plotted in the Clayton Estate survey of 1761 ; and their existence in the 

1 Of. Selborae's Ancient Faots and Fictions concerning- - See Mr. Maiden in V. C. H., II., 67, and diagram 

Churches and Tithes ; and N. E. D., " Parish." already referred to. 3 See below, p. 15. 



seventeenth century (failing any special history to the contrary) is evidence that they existed when 
the manor was first delimited. Here it need only be noticed that the western boundary of that 
northern projection into Caterhain gives most probably the width of Chivington, the oldest and 
largest manor of the four mentioned in Domesday book. From these hill tops in Caterhain parish, 
through gait and greensand down to the wealden clay and the no man's land of the dense forest 
ran the territory of Chivington, side by side probably with that of Blechingley all the way. 

Manor boundaries are dealt with in the next chapter, but it looks as though Blechingley and 
Chivington might once have become two parishes, instead of coalescing into one, much wider than 
its neighbours — if indeed the manor boundaries date back to days before the land was parcelled out 
ecclesiastically. The fact that the manor was bounded by the Roman road suggests at least that it 
dated back to days when that was still a highway, while the parish boundary was fixed by other 
factors ; perhaps when that road had lost its importance and become overgrown and forgotten, and 
the chief south road in Godstone came down Flower Lane and by the Minster church of 
Wolcnestede. Latest boundary of the three, the Norman lord set up his park-paling on the manor 
boundary, after the parish was delimited, since the ecclesiastical line would hardly have been taken 
deliberately through a fenced and uninhabited enclosure. But whether manor or parish bounds 
were the older, those of the manor, merging for practical purposes in the park pales, vanished with 
the disparking ; while the boundaries of Blechingley parish, settled probably in Anglo-Saxon da} r s 
by men of whose names no dimmest memory remains, served civil and religious purposes unchanged 
for some thirty generations, until the old tithing of Home with its ancient mission church was 
made a separate parish little more than two hundred years ago. 

But though the Anglo-Saxons brought well-marked laws and customs with them and resettled 
the country and called the lands after their own names, yet how far they fitted their own usages 
into a surviving framework of Romano-British law and custom is a question yet waiting for a final 
answer. Certainly the old notion that nothing Roman had been left in England but ruins seems 
more and more to lose reality as modern research spreads wider and deeper in our early history 
and traces survivals of Roman law and Roman order in most unexpected places. Indeed, one of 
the insistent lessons woven through all the bloodshed and obscurity which do duty for the history 
of those dark days seems to be Roman continuity — the vis inertia, as it were, of the vast machine 
of Roman Empire, still working silently long after the guiding hands which gave it conscious 
impulse had been removed. 1 But at least it is known that the "Anglo-Saxons" came over in 
communities with their full families and organization ; however much they may have borrowed 
from the laws and customs which they found here, and whatever admixture they may have suffered 
with the inferior Celtic race, all was absorbed by the dominant will of virile conquerors, to be 
reproduced in more settled days with the unmistakeable Anglo-Saxon stamp upon it. Thus their 
three ranks of nobles, freemen and slaves might answer to the Roman civis, colomis, and servus : as 
edhiling, frihling, and lazzus they certainly correspond exactly to the eorl, ceorl and laet of the 
earliest English laws decreed by Ethelbert, king of Kent 560 — 616. 

Moreover, the system of land tenure which the Normans found in 1066 can be traced far back 
into the 600 years which had seen " Anglo-Saxon " influences at work in England. The manorial 
system was in fact, though not in name, the normal Saxon tenure centuries before Domesday Book 
recorded it in Norman fashion. Thus the Saxon thane corresponded precisely to the Norman 
overlord; he was the owner of the "Hall" and "Inland," the Norman manor-house and demesne 
land ; he owed to the king service for fighting (fyrdfaerald, campaign-faring), for castle building 

1 A sm ill instance may be given in the Parish " Bounds," and before that the Saxon method, and it was the Roman 

;is described by the manorial court in 1080 from landmark to method two thousand years ago. See Seebohm's "Village 

landmark, all round the parish, till the description ends at the Community," !), and notes. 

b muhI from which it began. 'Phis was the Norman method, 


(burh-bot, burgh-mending), and bridge building (brig-bot), the famous trinoda necessitas, the three- 
fold tax. In his " ton " or " ham," that is his vill or manor, lived his dependents, the geneats, 
whose " right " it was to perform various services 1 according to their class and the customs of the 
country-side. They answered to the villain class generally, and were more specifically divided into 
two classes, geburs and cottiers (cotsetlan). The gebur was given land and house, oxen and tools — a 
complete agricultural outfit, by the lord for his lifetime — and rendered in return both tax (gafol) 
and services of ploughing, sowing and the like. The gebur was, in fact, the Norman villain with 
his yardland scattered in acre and half-aci*e strips about the common fields and with his oxen 
working there daily — on the strips of the lord's " inland " on his specified days of service, and on his 
own and those of the plough team community for the rest of the week. The second class, the 
cottiers, had generally no oxen but only a house and some 5 acres of land ; they therefore paid no 
gafol, and except at harvest they rendered only one day's service in the week to the thane, and 
probably worked the other days on the villains' yardlands, while the latter were working for the 
lord ; 2 they were the cotarii and bordarii of Domesday Book. Last of all below them came the 
theows, the servi of 1086 — actual slaves and chattels who could be bought and sold; for while the 
gebur and cotsetlan held under a quasi-servile tenure and were adscripti glcbce they were reckoned 
personally free, and had a wer-geld, or money value, to be paid in compensation to their family if 
they were killed; whereas the slave had but a contemptuous 40 pence, since an injury to him was 
an injury done to, and to be paid for to, his owner, who got a manbot of 20s. 3 The slave was very 
usually " wealh-theow," i.e., Welsh or British ; but in times of famine it was not uncommon for 
persons to sell themselves into slavery as the Egyptians did in Joseph's day. Thus Saxon and 
Norman terms equate ; and thane and lord, gebur and villain, cotsetle and bordar,^theow and serf, 
may be said to correspond almost exactly. 

The Rectitudines Singularum personarum or " Services due from various persons," dating in its 
Saxon version from the tenth century, sets forth clearly these various classes, while the evidence for 
the existence of common fields with the scattered strips of gebur's yardlands and thane's " Inland " 
which composed them, goes back very many generations further to the laws of Ine, king of Wessex, 
in 688. 5 

So the " Anglo-Saxon " form of land tenure as a blended system of overlordship and common 
fields subsisted until the Norman conquest, and was overlaid and added to, not abolished, by the 
more strictly feudal tenure shewn in Domesday Book ; the Anglo-Saxon parochial vestry 
administration gave place but yesterday to our modern local government and parish councils, while 
their sober godly division of the land for the service of the Almighty bids fair to last as long as the 
English tongue shall be spoken in our country. 

The hundred in which Blechingley lies, as already seen, took its name from Tandridge, one of 
its less important parishes ; it Was no doubt its central position which gave it the hundred-moot, 
and tradition has preserved the name of the very spot in Tandridge where that Saxon court met. 
At the south-east corner of Rooksnest Park, just where an old road from the chalk hills joins the 
main east and west road from Godstone to Oxted, is a small mound, now covered with chestnut 
trees. This used to be known as Undersnow, an undoubted corruption of Hundredsknowe, the 
grassy knoll where, in the open air, like Deborah judging Israel beneath her palm tree, the moot 
assembled to choose their head-boroughs, and under their shreeve take a share in their own 
government. Manning, writing about 1804, says that old people still called it Shreeves Torn, 
and Salmon, writing in 1736, says: "The Sheriffs' Torn is kept at Undersnow in Tandridge;" 6 

1 The Saxon's " Riht," his "law" or "due," was to do French. Ibid., 39; and so Cotgrave, " Borde, a little house;" 
services ; in these days rights are more frequently connected yet Bord was also Saxon for a plank or board, of which the 
with the avoidance of them. house was largely built. 

2 See Maitland, D. B. B., 41. 3 Ibid., 31. 5 See Seebohm's "English Tillage Community," Chapters 
4 Maitland points out that while cot is English, borde is IV. and V. 6 Salmon, 59. 

c 2 


the " Turn " meaning that the Sheriff, who held his court twice a year in every hundred of 
the county successively, held it here when it was the " Turn " of Tandridge Hundred to have it. 
This Hundred moot or Sheriffs' Turn became obsolete in the eighteenth century, but it was not 
formally abolished until the County Court Act of 1867 — so persistent are our English institutions. 
The spot itself has long since forgotten its public use and lies within the park paling of Booksnest, 
but it is still plain to see, a humble but not uninteresting landmark of English social history. 

Blechingley itself can point to no undoubted Saxon remains ; of its pre-Norman days there is 
nothing left to touch or handle, nor does the name of either Chivington or Blechingley seem to 
occur in any known Saxon records. Quite possibly a Saxon church stood where S. Mary's stands, 
but if so it was no doubt of timber, and disappeared when the Normans built a stone church. The 
place names Blechingley and Chivington, however, clearly proclaim their Saxon origin, especially 
by their suffixes " Ley " and " ton." 

This suffix " ley," with its varying forms leah, lea, lee, leye, lie, legh, ligh, laie, lay, comes 
directly from the old English (Anglo-Saxon) leah, which meant a tract of cultivated or cultivable 
land. Leah (pronounced as we should say Lay-ah) is probably identical in etymology with the 
old High German loh, and the Latin lucus, a grove (in middle High German loh, loch, low, 
brushwood, or clearing overgrown with small shrubs), and is perhaps the same as the Flemish loo, 
as in Waterloo. It denoted arable or pasture land as opposed to woodland, and probably comes 
from the root leuq to shine, whence lucere in Latin and lucus (but not a non lucendo), and our own 
word Light. The key to its sense may be found in the word " clearing," the open spot where the 
light falls amid the dimness of the surrounding forest. To use another word, it is in fact the forest 
11 glade," which is the bright glad glittering spot. 

In this earliest sense it is broadly distinguished from the other Saxon word for cultivated or 
pasture land — feed — which, as field, is still our commonest word for either grassland or arable ; 
feld denoted the open land as apart from woodland. In the probably cognate form " fell " it still 
means the bare open hill-side in the north of England, while in the South African Veld the idea of 
openness has been retained at the cost of that of cultivation. 

The Anglo-Saxon Leah, besides its use in terminations of place names, survives in our English 
word lea, of which the sense has been influenced by confusion with another old English word laes, 
" lease," meaning the land let alone and not tilled, i.e., pasture, whence the expression Horse or 
cow-lease, often found as a field name, and (perhaps the most widely known) as "The Leas" at 
Folkestone. Lease was mistaken for the plural of lea, and so tended to restrict the original 
meaning of lea — a tract of open ground whether arable or pasture — to grass land only. 

Later the word lea came to be used mostly in poetry and generally for grass land; so Spencer 
writes of " flowers that paint the sprinckled leas " and Milton's dryads trip " on lawns and leas," 
while later still Gray's lowing herd certainly did not wind over ploughed fields, though Shakespeare 
preserved the old sense of open ground under plough, when he wrote of " Ceres' rich leas of wheat 
and rye." 

In the form lay and ley it came to be used in the sense of land lying fallow; so Palladius on 
Husbandry in 1420 directs "fieldes fatte to plow and layes up to breke," and the valuable Lexicon 
of 1440 called Promptorium Parvulorum explains " lay " as " londe not telyd." Dry den used it in 
this sense when he wrote " Let land and wife lie lay till I return." The modern farming use of 
" lay " for land laid down to grass, commonly called " seeds," and therefore not to be broken up 
until due rotation, is familiar to every one living in the country. 

So the history of the word and its sense wavering between plough-land and pasture seems an 
epitome of the earliest agriculture. First of all the feeding ground was an open spot in the forest, 
where the tangled growth grew less densely and men's hands gradually cleared a wider forest glade 
or bright opening ; here the best land would presently be ploughed, while the wooded outskirts 


afforded ampler pasturage. But all plough land was pasture, it must be remembered, after harvest; 
while in two-course husbandry but half the arable was cropped each year, and fallows were not the 
bare brown tilth of modern farming, but actually still had a reckoned value as feeding grounds in 
mediaeval manorial extents. In fact, the difference between arable and pasture was in ancient days 
by no means so sharply drawn as it is now, and the indeterminate sense of "lea" may be said to 
reflect the fact. 1 

In the weald, it was on the stiff clay that the tangled forest growth Avas most impenetrable, 
and the only Surrey Domesday manor which is wholly on the clay was Ockley, where the Roman 
street had pierced Coed Andred. Ockley, in Domesday Book Hoclei, is in earlier Saxon charters 
Ac-leah (pronounced Arklayah) as we might say Oaklea, the grazing land or clearing amid the 
oaks. Among the very scanty Domesday names, either actually on the Surrey weald or just above 
it, occur (besides Ockley and Blechingley) three other "leys," Witlei (Witley), Brunlie (Bramley), 
Tiwesle (Tuesley in Godalming) ; while in the weald " f eld " only occurs in Notfelle (Nutfield), 
which had doubtless no existence below the greensand ridge ; Cherchefelle (Reigate), which hardly 
reached the clay ; and Blachedfeld (later Blackheath), the name of a hundred which comprised all 
the greensand ridge from Shalford to Gomshall. 

In later days Wipley, Leigh, Kinnersley, Harrowsley, Hoiley, all appear on the Surrey clay, 
and some of them no doubt already existed, though not mentioned by name in Domesday Book. Of 
other terminations, Fold (perhaps the enclosure of felled trees), and hurst, a wood, are about the 
commonest and sufficiently speak to the heavily timbered nature of the land; but field is conspicuous 
by its absence, save at Lingfield, which is on the edge of the clay and mostly on the Hastings sand, 
and Thundersfield, which (as already said) is another name for Harrowsley, the detached part of 
Home, and seems a real exception. This may be the Thundersfield where Athelstan held a Witan 
about 850 a.d., and with more certainty seems to be the Dunresfelda of Alfred's will. It represents 
apparently the earliest known Surrey settlement on the wealden clay, and was probably where an 
ancient track, older even than the Roman road by Ockley, passed from Sussex into the weald of 
Surrey. Not far away, near Horley Station, a British sepulchral urn, flint arrowheads, and bronze 
Roman coins were found when the Brighton line was being made in 1839-40 ; so it might well be 
that the amount of clearing done in pre-Saxon days, originally perhaps as a sacred rendezvous in 
the mystic depths of Andred, was sufficiently wide to obtain the name of open field from the 
Saxons, who may even have adopted an already hallowed site for their own heathen rites. A few 
other post-Domesday " fields " occur on the clay, as Ratfield in Capel, etc., but it is obvious that as 
the country got cleared and opened upj the name became more applicable, while the possible 
corruption of fold into field must also be remembered. 

In Sussex, besides Line (Linch) at the extreme west, Ifelt (Ifield) is the solitary " field " found 
actually on the deep wealden clay in Domesday Book. So Ifield seems at first against the theory 
that "field " implies a more spacious open tract than " ley," but it must be noted that Amberley 
and Langley are both place names in Ifield parish, which moreover contains also a large part of 
what is now Crawley, as if to suggest that very early separate clearings or leahs had 
been thrown together to form a larger " feld," which later on became the parish. 
Sifelle (Sheffield Park), Hertevel (Hartfield), Reredfelle 3 (Rotherfield) and Mesewelle (Mayfield) 
are all Domesday wealden names, but none of them are on the deep clay. Sheffield Park 
and Hartfield .both stand low by streams, where water meadows may well have existed 
from the earliest days to give them an open character; while Rotherfield stands on conspicuous 
upland, too much wind swept for thick forest. (The interesting occurrence of Blatchingleye 

1 Authorities : N. E. D. ; and Skeat, s.vv. lea, la}-, field, 3 Domesday scribes were both ignorant and careless of 

glade, etc. local names, and Reredfelle is probably carelessness for 

" V. C. H.," III., 200. Redrefelle. 


as a place name in Rotherfield is an importation of only six or seven centuries ago.) 1 
Further south Sussex owns some score more names ending in -field and as many in -ly, and an 
exact local knowledge might help to shew that a -ley was originally in more densely wooded 
country than a -field. Certainly West Hoathly, though on Hastings beds, would from its steep 
hills and boggy depths have been densely covered with the original wealden growth ; while the 
Bexlaie of Domesday (Bexhill), which from its site would not suggest deep forest (though Sidley 
just below might do so), perhaps more nearly preserves its oldest pronunciation and meaning in its 
modern form than in the ending -leie. Horselei (Horseye) in Pevensey level is another Domesday 
name which clearly has no claim to the forest ending, but is simply the Hor»e Island in the marsh. 
In Hampshire, Bentley, Kingsley, Headley, Hawkley marked the surrounding densenesa of what 
was later called Alice Holt and Wolmer forests ; while Petersfield and Clanfield are found where 
the country changes to downland, much as the Horsleys, Ripley and Wisley occur in Surrey on the 
falling and thickly wooded valley ground below the Merrow and Clandon downs. 

At Blechingley the wealden forest died out on the greensand, and some clearing may well have 
been done in pre-Saxon days ; but no doubt the dense forest still covered all the clay below, and it 
was only along the sandy ridge that thinner woodland admitted of pasturage. So the original leah, 
the distinctive pasture which helped to name the place, probably lay south of the main road from 
S. Catherine's Cross (Whitepost) upwards and westwards to Castle Square, comprising a water 
meadow opposite the Plough Inn and all the sloping ground of Blechingley House. 

This suffix leah, as already seen, took many shapes and spellings, but through lay and lee it 
gradually settled into ly or leigh. As Leigh alone (pronounced lt) it still exists as a place name 
both in Kent and Surrey, at Leigh by Penshurst and Leigh by Betchworth (both hurst and worth 
being, it may b8 noted, forest names). In Blechingley our modern glibness of tongue has robbed 
the suffix of its old value, but the slow south Saxon speech may yet be heard now and then in an 
old-fashioned mouth, while in the Sussex place names of Ardingly and Hellingly the accent still 
dwells by custom on the last syllable, as it undoubtedly once always did in Blechingley. 

The other suffix " Ton," the commonest perhaps of all Saxon suffixes, means simply the 
enclosed settlement, the " Fenced City." And so the names of Chivington and Blechingley seem to 
tell their own story, how the earliest Saxon homestead was planted in the fertile vale when the 
southern forest land still reached up the greensand ridge, perhaps almost up to where in later ages 
a Norman castle was to stand, and how, later, as the population grew, new land was opened up for 
pasture and cultivation, and the weald thrust further back on to the clay. 

In Bleching and Chiving or Chifing the similar ending will at once be noted, and since -ing 
means " son of " or " descendants of," it is easy to guess them to represent the homes of the 
families of Blecca and Ceofa. 2 Blecca was the name of a powerful man in Lindsay in Lincolnshire, 
whom Paulinus baptized with all his followers after the baptism of Eadwine, king of Northumbria, 
at Easter (April J 2) 627 ; Henry of Huntingdon calls him governor of Lincoln City; s and the name 
occurs elsewhere also. 1 Ceofa, pronounced probably Cherfa or Cheefa, occurs as a deacon's name, 
who witnesses last of a long list in a Gloucestershire charter at the Council of Clovesho in 824 ; 5 so 
that at least proper names existed from which the place names may be derived. 

Another source for the name of Blechingley may possibly be found in Bleiking, a province of 
Denmark in Hakon's Saga/' which is now the district of Carlskrona in Sweden, and is still marked 
Blekino-e Carlskrona on the map. Kinsmen of the Norse dwellers who left that name behind them 
there, may have founded colonies elsewhere, so that offshoots of the clan carried it with them to 

See Chapter IV. 

Cf. S. A. C, v., 201 (Mr. Lereion Gower), and Suss. A. C, xiv., 209 (Mr. Lower). 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle," R. S., II., 21. Henry of Huntingdon, R. S., 87 ; A., II., 1G. 
* Onomast. A. S., 129. 5 Birch. Cart. Ang.-Sax., 379. ° Icelandic Sagas, lt. S., II., 298. 


the Surrey village and other places in England where the same root is found. Such are Bletohley 
in Buckinghamshire, and Bletchington in Oxfordshire, and Blechynden, a suburb of Southampton, 
and nearer still Bletchington or Blatchington in Sussex. 

But while Chivington or Chevington, which is also a place name in Suffolk and Northumberland, 
may very likely be a patronymic, it is more than possible that Blechingley is not. The apparently 
cognate names just noticed may be so, or they may derive from the Anglo-Saxon blaec (pronounced 
black and meaning black) ; but Blechingley itself is perhaps derived from the word Mac (pronounced 
blahk and meaning pale or white), which would thus point to the earliest industrial occupation of 
its inhabitants, who fulled or bleached cloth in their forest glade (blaecan, to bleach). At Nuffield, 
on the west side, the chief fullers' earth-pits in England are still worked ; while at Godstone, on 
the east, the now almost forgotten name of Walkinsted, Walkingsted, or Walkhamstead preserves 
the recollection of the same industry. In Domesday Book Godstone was unknown ; its name is 
Wachelstede, which represents the nearest the scribe could get to the awkward Saxon name of 
Wolcnestede, the steading where they " walked " or fulled. 

Wolcnestede, indeed, must have been a place of some importance, for in 950 Byhrtric and 
Aelfswith his wife, making a will which dealt mainly with lands in Kent, left to one Wulfstan Ucca 
" Wolcnesstede with a hand seax of three pounds ; " and further left " the 10 hides at Straettune 
to the minster at Wolcnestede." 1 The minster, or collegiate church, the mother church of the 
district which has been already alluded to, probably stood at Walkingsted proper, where S. Nicholas 
stands to-day; but the 10 hides at Stratton, a large amount of cultivated land, say some 1,000 acres, 
must have lain along the Boinan road against the eastern boundary of Blechingley parish. Very 
possibly they were partly on the south side of the open forest-land of Tilburstow, where Norbryght 
still preserves a Saxon name, 2 as well as on the north side, at Stratton itself. It is worth noting, 
too, that in the same will one of the witnesses is Wulfsie se blaca, rendered by Thorpe " Wulfsie 
the black/' but why not Wulfsie the pale (fuller) ? 3 

This existence of a Saxon " minster " at Godstone, which was noticed by Manning, 4 no doubt 
accounts for the fact that though the more central Tandridge named the hundred, it was Godstone 
which gave its name to the rural deanery, when the deanery of Evvell was divided. 

Both Wolcnestede and the old word to "walk" come from the Anglo-Saxon "Wealcan," which 
means originally to roll or toss oneself about like the proverbial rolling stone, and so was applied to 
the rolling about of the raw cloth (i.e., as it came from the loom) by the " walkers " ; the earliest 
and simple process being for men to trample it in a trough. The term " walker " and the walking 
of cloth was commonly used in Johnson's day, and Boswell in the " Tour to the Hebrides " tells 
how " wawking cloth " was performed there by " women who kneel upon the ground and rub it 
with both their hands singing an Erse song the while." A walk-mill still means a fulling-mill in 
Fife, while in German walker and walken, and in Flemish walchen, mean a fuller and to full to this 
day. Eustace of Boulogne moreover held Wolcnestede, and as his men no doubt talked the Flemish 
rather than the French of those days, they would keep so familiar a name alive. The synonym to 
" full" also recalls the old method of treatment, for it is the same word as the French " fouler," to 
trample or crush, a sense known still to every household in the homely gooseberry " fool." The 
trampling process was replaced by water-power and fulling or walking mills became common ; so 
much so that in 1389 the fullers' gild of Lincoln forbade fullers "to work in the trough." 5 

1 Thorpe's " Diplomatarium Angl. Aevi Saxonici," 500, the south of it, which would be represented by Felbridge, but 

602, where he renders mynstre, monastery, which is mis- this speculation leads too far. 

leading. In the index he explains Straettune by Stratton, 3 As already said, blac is bright, white, pale ; while black 

Kent, doubtless not knowing of the Stratton at Godstone. in Saxon is blaec. See Sweet's A. S. diet. (1911), s.vv. 

8 Norbryght, or Norbricht as it appears in fourteenth- 4 M. and B., II., 323. 

emitury deeds, would seem to mean the north bright (spot) or 5 See English Industries of the Middle Ages, L. F. 

northern clearing; this would imply an early settlement to Salzmann, 1913 ; and D. D. (s.v. Walk). 



The " walker herth" or fullers earth was used in the process of cleansing the cloth, which was 
afterwards stretched on taynters or tenters, to dry and hleach in the sun. 1 In Surrey the existence 
of fullers earth round Nuffield greatly assisted the development of the trade ; but the convenience 
of water led to the chief industry becoming centred at Guildford, where the Wey turned many 
fulling-mills. Apparently the Guildford cloths lost their reputation through dishonest over- 
stretching by the greedy millers, who found they could make five and thirty yards of cloth out of 
thirty, to the great detriment of the fabric ; and the industry was already a decaying one before 
the fourteenth century ended. 

It is not therefore surprising that in Blechingley all memory of so long vanished an industry is 
lost; but there is still one place-name left in the parish which more than possibly fixes the site of 
an early fulling-mill. That is Stocklands, which lies below Warwick wood, with its southern end 
on the Black brook, which flows from Pendell to Merstham. The Stock was the heavy hammer 
used by fullers for beating the cloth, and a stockmill was a fullers' mill, 2 usually turned by water 
power. So in Langley's " Vision of Piers Plowman," written in 1377, it is said : — 

" Cloth that cometh fro the weving is nought comely to were 
tyl it is fulled under foote or in fullyng stokkes." 8 

The name is found in Blechingley as early as 1336 when Eobert atte Stokke was a tenant owing 
service, and two centuries later, when the land was called " Stokland," it is carefully described as 
" formerly called le Stok." The Stock was therefore clearly a very definite spot, though the name 
of Stocklands now spreads over some 50 acres ; and as the brook is there, though now much 
diminished in flow, the evidence that Eobert held, in the fourteenth century, the site of a probably 
already disused Stockmill seems fairly strong.* Otherwise the names of Blechingley and 
Walkingsted alone recall the vanished industry, while Walkingsted is as obsolete to-day as 
" walking " cloth itself. With such local corroboration both east and west the Anglo-Saxon verb 
blaecan (pronounced blaircan) to make blac (pronounced blahk),that is to whiten or to bleach, seems 
irresistibly indicated as the origin of the place name ; but where proof is impossible, those who 
cling to a supposed eponymous hero called Blecca can still do so. At least it must be conceded that 
from neither derivation does the odious, otiose t, so unhappily pitchforked into the name, receive 

The variations on the theme of " Blechingley " are almost unending ; the Blachingelie of 
Domesday Book is the earliest written form extant, but of course the termination lie or ly, and 
legh or ligh were interchangeable. Some variants are subjoined with dates : — 

Blachingelie, D.B. 
Blaclnngelia . 

temp. Stephen 

Blachynggeleye 1 
Blechingleye J 

I.P.M. 1296 

Blachingelee', Fitzstephen 

c. 1170 

Blechingeley . 


Blachingeleg', Pipe Roll 



I.P.M. 1307 

Blechingele, Assize HolLs 


Bletchingle . 


Blechingley . 




Blecchynglegh (and often) 




Blachingeley . 



c. 1320 


I.P.M. 1262 
c. 1260 

Blechingley \ 
Blechynglic J 

in the same deed 1328 


)> :> 

Blecchyngelegh, Lay 

Subsidy . 1332 

Blechinglegh . 




Blaschingel . 

c. 1280 

Blecchinglegli, Bishop 

's Register, passim 1329-54 

Blescingeleye (grant of fair) 



Do. . 1366 

1 Cf. V. C. H. Notts, 11., 34 


3 " Piers Plowman,' 

B. xv., 445. 

2 D. 1)., s.v. 

4 See Stocklands un 

Jor Field Names. 



(From a sketch by E. A. Christie, N.B.A.) 




Blecchinglegh is 

perhaps about the 


before the fifteenth century. 










Blecehinglye . 



Blechyngly . 



Blecchiuglee . 



Blechinglee, Bishop's Register 




1509 & 46 

Blechyngly, court 



Blecchyngly, Lay 


L522 & 1540 

Blechynglygh, Parish Register 


Blechynlygh, Lay 




u • 




Blechingley . 



Blechinglie . 


Blechyngley (Register) 


Blechingley, Bishop's Register 


in the deed conveying 
free school premises 




c. 1708 

Bletchingligh, Pendell Map 

Blechingley . 

Blechingley, re- 

Bletchingley once 

Bletchingley, Grant of arms to the rector 

Bletchingly, Deed re Evans' charity 1 

Blechingley, court roll 

Bletchingly, Glyd brass in S. Ma^'s 

Bletchingley .... 

Blechingley (Published arms of Cities 
and Boro's) 

Blechingley, court roll 

Court Roll and Registers of present day. 

Blechingley, Award under Enclosure 

Act .... 1810 

Blechingley, Tithe Map . . 1841—3 

Blechingley, S. A. C. almost invariably, though 
Mr. Leveson Gower uses Bletchingley. 2 

Besides these, such, mistakes as Blechingfeld, Bleching Lee in two words also occur, as well as 
such freaks as Blecchinggeleghe, and in fact almost every reduplication and combination of ing, 
ynge, ly, ley, ligh, legh and so forth, which can he imagined. 

But the " t," it will be noticed, appears late and sparingly till eighteenth-century days, and it 
may be truthfully said that the natives did not use it. It appears far more frequently where the 
name has been written by strangers, London lawyers and the like, and as deeds increased in number 
and length — of course lawyers never left out anything they could put in — so it gradually became 
commoner, and at last in an evil hour the Post Office, either by chance, or the malignant fate that 
dogs officialism, adopted it for the spelling of telegrams, and so has saddled the ancient borough, 
presumably for all time, with a letter which is etymologically untrue, historically inaccurate, in 
pronunciation useless, in appearance displeasing, and in practice confusing. Those whose parcels 
and letters have gone to Bletchley will agree with this practical objection ; but as in the matter of 
place names nowadays the majority have neither knowledge nor conscience, hut take them as dealt 
out by railway porters and post-office officials, it is not surprising that the Parish Council has 
adopted the vicious letter in their official spelling, and the population of Blechingley follow like 

But though the names of Chivington and Blechingley seem to preserve their Saxon origin and 
even to tell a little about the inhabitants, they do not apparently occur in any Saxon chronicles, 
and history is quite dumb till Norman days. Before, however, turning to Domesday Book, the 
scanty Roman remains found in the parish must be briefly noticed. 

Mr. Bray in his last additions and corrections 3 to the great County History, before going to 
press, says : — 

In the summer of 1813 some workmen of Mr. Perkins of Peudhill, in grubbing up the bank of a hedge 
in a level field, a little distance N.E. of his house, struck on a stone wall. By his direction they traced 

1 This deed (a lease of Norrisos to John Turner) is at 
least consistent, since the reut is to be paid in " the porteh of 
the p'ish churlch of Bletchingly." Pourquoi non indeed ! 
The spelling of all three words is on a par of double distilled 
deninition, as Mr. Jiautaliui might have said, 

• Mr. Leveson Gower's transcripts several times give 
"Bletoh" (e.g., in the 1332 lay subsidy) where the original is 
clearly " Blecch." 

3 M. and B., III., exxi. 


it, and found the foundations of a room which appears to have been a hypocaust at a small distance under 
the surface of the field. This room was nearly filled with broken tiles of Roman workmanship. These 
being removed, the room was found to be of a depth of 5^ feet, divided into two parts by a eross wall ; 
in one of them are two pillars about 4 feet high composed of about 18 courses of Roman tiles, which supported 
the floor above. On the W. side are two circular recesses ; and in the wall at the S. end is an arch about 
3 feet high, opening into another apartment, the floor paved with Roman tiles and the sides worked up with 
the same. This goes under the bridle- way leading towards the Parsonage (i.e., Water Lane). Mr. Perkins 
had covered the whole with a thatched roof to protect it, and means to pursue the search in the spring. Under 
the care of Mr. Glover a full account may then be expected. 

Mr. Ambrose Glover, a Reigate lawyer and a keen antiquary, had a plan made of it (here 
reproduced). He also brought Mr. Bray over from Shere to inspect, and got Mr. Perkins to cover 
it up with earth and straw against frost, and put a thatched roof over it. The plan 1 shews no trace 
of any continuation under Water lane, but further spade work might well be rewarded, since it 
may be assumed that the hypocaust belonged to no isolated building, but marks the site of a 
Roman villa, perhaps that of the chief landowner, situated on the best soil of the parish and the 
spot which centuries later came to be called "Pende," from the "penn" or enclosure of ruined 
Roman walls. 2 

From Mr. Kenrick's papwi. See Chapter V. and under Pendell, Chapter VIII., ad init. 

( 19 ) 



The Domesday Book record of Blechingley heads the long list of the lands of the great Richard 
de Bienfaite in Surrey, and is as follows : — 

XIX. Terra RICARDI Filii GISLEBTI. In Tenrige Hund. 

Ricardus de Tonebrige ten' in dnio Civentone. Alnod tenuit de rege E. Tc se defd p xx hid mo' p 
vi hid. T'ra e xii car'. In dnio sunt ii car' dimid', et xxiii villi, un' bord, cu. ix car'. Ibi ix servi et un' molin' 
de xxxii denar'. De herbag' xii pore'. Silva de L pore' de pasuag', et xvi ac' pti. 

De his hid ten' Roger's dimid hida et ibi ht in dnI5 1 car' cu V bord, et in Sudwerche iii hag' de xv den'. 
In Lundon ii a8 masuras de x den'. T.R.E. valb xi lib' et post vi lib', niodo x lib'. 

Ipse Ricard' ten' Blachingelei. Alfech et Aluuin et Elnod tenuer' de rege E. Tc se defd p x hid', modo 
p iii hid'. T'ra e xvi car'. Tria M fuer' niodo e in unu. In dnio sunt iii car' et xx villi et iiii bord cu ix car'. 
Ibi vii servi et xiiii ac' pti. De silva XL pore' et de herbag' xviii pore', 
et Sudwerche 

In Lundonia vii mansure de v sol' iiii den'. 

De his x hid' ten' Odm' ii as hid' et dimidia et Lemei ii hid' et Petr' i hid' dim'. In dni5 1 car et iii villi 
et ii bord cu 1 car et iii ac' pti. Tot M T.R.E. valb xiii lib' et post viii lib. Modo qd ten' Ricard' xii lib. 
qd hoes ei' LXXIII sol' iiii den'. 

The Land of Richard son of Count Gilbert. In Tenrige Hundred. 

Richard de Tonbridge holds Civentone in demesne. Alnod held it of king Edward. It was then assessed 
for 20 hides, now for 6 hides. There is land for 12 ploughs ; in demesne there are two and a half ploughs, 
23 villains, one bordar with 9 ploughs. There are there 9 serfs, one mill of 32 pence; from herbage 12 pigs; 
wood worth 50 pigs from pannage ; 16 acres of meadow. 

Of these hides Roger holds half a hide ; there he has in demesne one plough with 5 bordars. In 
Sudwerche he has 3 closes of 15 pence value, and in London 2 dwellings of 10 pence. In the time of king 
Edward it was worth £11 ; afterwards £6; now £10. 

Richard himself holds Blachingelie. Aelfeeh, Alwin and Elnod held it of king Edward. It was then 
assessed for 10 hides, now for 3 hides. There is land for 16 ploughs. There were 3 manors ; it is now made 
into one manor. In demesne there are 3 ploughs; 20 villains, 4 bordars, with 9 ploughs. There are there 
7 serfs ; 14 acres of meadow ; from the wood 40 pigs ; from herbage 18 pigs. 

In London and Sudwerche, 7 dwellings worth 5s. 4d. 

Of these 10 hides Odmus holds 1\ hides ; Lemei 2 hides ; Peter \\ hides. In the demesne there is 
1 plough, 3 villains, 2 bordars, with 1 plough ; 3 acres of meadow. The whole manor in king Edward's time 
was worth £13 ; afterwards £8. Now what Richard holds £12; what his men hold 73s. 4t/. 

D 2 


The great survey called Domesday Book was made in 1085-6 by order of William the 
Conqueror, who, as William of Malmesbury writing about 1135 says, "subdued the inhabitants 
so completely to his will that without any opposition, he first caused an account to be taken of 
eveiy person, compiled a register of the rent of every estate in England, and made all freemen, 
of every description, take the oath of fealty to him." 1 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us how 
"The king had a great council and very deep speech with his Witan about the land, how it was 
peopled, or by what men ; then sent his men over all England into every shire and caused to be 
ascertained how many hundreds were in the shire, or what land the king himself had and cattle 
within the land, or what dues he ought to have in twelve months from the shire. Also he caused 
to be written how much land his archbishops had and his suffragan bishops 3 and his abbots and his 
earls; and — though I may narrate it somewhat prolixly — (goes on the now indignant chronicler) 
what or how much each man had who was a holder of land in England, in land or in cattle, and 
how much money it might be worth. So very narrowly he caused it to be traced out, that there 
was not one single hide, not one yard of land, nor even — it is shame to tell, though it seemed to 
him no shame to do — an ox, nor a cow, nor a swine left, that was not set down in his writ. And 
all the writings were brought to him afterwards." 3 

The extreme detail of the great work, which so stirred the Saxon wrath, seems to the modern 
antiquary only too slightly sketched, and indeed the information given raises many more questions 
than it answers ; but the indignation is readily accounted for when it is remembered that the chief 
object of Domesday was valuation for the purpose of taxation. There are many difficulties still 
awaiting explanation in the great record, but students have created a great many more for 
themselves by forgetting this cardinal fact and trying to extract from Domesday Book what was 
never put into it. It was neither an ordnance survey nor a census, and the material which it 
furnishes towards constructing such fascinating works is necessarily fragmentary and merely 
incidental to its fiscal character. 

The original survey was carried out by royal officers (legati) in every county, who instituted an 
inquiry in every hundred, sworn to by twelve jurors, six English and six Norman. The original 
returns (which are still preserved for several of the hundreds in Cambridgeshire, Inquisitio comitatus 
Cantabrigice, in the Liber Exoniensis for five western counties, and in the Liber Eliensis for the 
lands of the Abbot of Ely) were completed in 1086 ; and from them was compiled Domesday Book 
as we own it. The great difference was that, whereas the original returns for each county were 
divided into hundreds, in Domesday Book itself they were divided under the various owners, 
beginning with the king himself, followed by the churchmen and religious houses, the lay tenants 
in chief, or barons, and others. Moreover, in the " Exchequer Domesday," as the final work was 
completed, and now preserved, the census of live stock was mostly cut out. 

The Cambridge inquest gives the twelve questions put to the jury, as follows :^ — 

1. What is the name of the mansion ? (or as we should now say, manor). 

2. Who held it in king Edward's time ? 

3. Who holds it now ? 

4. How many hides are there? 

5. How many plough-teams —(a) in demesne, (b) of the tenants? 

6. How many villains — cottars, etc. — serfs? 

7. How many freemen — sokemen ? 

8. How much wood — meadow — pasture? What mills ? fisheries? 

; \V. of SI., trans. Rev. J. Sharpe, 4,°, 1815. •'< Ang.-Sax. Chron., U.S., II., 186. 

2 Note, en passant, that bishops are tlio suffragans of 4 "The Domesday Inquest," by A. Ballard. Methuen, 

their archbishops, not bishops assistant to diocesan bishops 190C. 
as now. 


9. How much has been added or taken away ? 

10. How much was the whole worth? How much is it worth now ? 

11. How much had or has each freemen or sokeman there? 

All this was to be given three times over ; that is, in the time of king- Edward, 1 
when king William bestowed it, and at the date of the inquest. 

12. And if more can be had than is had? 

The object was that the king should know the full fiscal resources of the country, and at the 
same time readily see how far subinfeudation went, so that he might make the under-tenants swear 
allegiance directly to himself. 

The Norman feudal principal of "nulle terre sans seigneur" had for its corollary "No man 
without a master" (except the king). Except the king every man held of — da — someone, and so the 
chain descended link by link from king to baron, and baron to knight, and knight to thane, down 
to the poorest tenant on the smallest manor, and the bondman below all. But William had no 
intention of allowing so lengthy a chain to weaken his personal hold on the chief military power, 
and the Domesday record, as rearranged on a feudal basis, shewing exactly what each baron held 
and who his under-tenants were, took up the links and, as it were, shortened the chain more aptly 
for his grasp. 

The essentially fiscal nature of the book therefore appears in every entry. 

First of all it states the amount for which the vill or township " defended itself," i.e., the 
assessment on which it was taxed for " geld " in defence of the country — a. in the time of 
king Edward ; b. at the date of the survey. 

Secondly, it gives approximately the quantity of plough-land, pasture, woodland, fisheries, 
mills, etc. ; the names of the chief owners, with rough estimates of their holdings ; and the 
numbers of the peasants of various degrees ; the whole of this comprehensive and incidental 
information affording data for future taxation, and giving to the king the knowledge necessary to 
enable him to make all landholders swear allegiance directly to himself. 

Thirdly, it records the value at three different dates, Tempore Regis Edwardi, post, and modo: i.e., 

1. When the land was held under king Edward the Confessor. 

2. When it was bestowed by king William after the ravages and vicissitudes of the 


3. At the actual date of the survey. 

Fourthly, it gives the names and holdings of the f * free " sub-tenants. 

As regards the difficult question of interpretation of terms in Domesday Book, the word manor, 
manerium, first calls for notice. It came in with the Normans and probably takes the place of the 
Saxon Ralla, the hall or chief homestead of the vill, or ton. But manor, which, of course, 
like mansa, mansio, mansura,, is derived from the Latin verb manere, to remain, to dwell, must not 
be supposed at this early date to have gathered to itself the prerogatives and duties which gradually 
grew round the manor of later generations. Domesday Book contains instances of manors of every 
size, from 80 hides (some 8,000 acres) down to 30, 20, and even 12 acres, and manors valued actually 
at a few shillings or even pence. The owners of these small manors certainly did not hold a 
court ; indeed, it cannot with any certainty be deduced from Domesday Book that a court was held 
even in large manors. Such appanages were after-growths. It is safer to follow the late 
Professor Maitland 2 in saying that manerium or mansio was a house against which geld was 
charged — that is, which was chosen as the chief house of the vill or district from which to collect 


1 "T. E. E." ("Tempore Regis Edwardi") is more definitely expressed often as "on the day ou which he was alive and 
dead," from which day the Norman claimed legitimate sovereignty over a Saxon usurper, Harold. 

2 D. B. & B., 120-1. Eheu .' the greatest, the most illuminating of investigators. 


the taxes due from the inhabitants. Thus the king got in his moneys more easily, the poor people 
welcomed an arrangement which kept the tax collector from their doors, and the lord of the manor 
found his count in getting from his tenants and dependents in money and services, equivalents and 
more than equivalents of the tax paid. 

The unit of taxation was the hide ; and it may be supposed that every shire was assessed 
for some large number of hides towards which every hundred in it contributed its quota, made up 
of the hides apportioned on each vill ; which again were divided among the various holdings in 
the vill ; while the amounts due were actually collected from the responsible, substantial owners of 
the manor or manors in every vill of the shire, or sheriff 's bailywick. 

Thus the lord, who became liable for the geld, was in a position to claim on the one hand 
consideration from the State, which he saved the trouble and expense of collecting small sums, and 
on the other hand duty and services from his poorer neighbours, for whose taxes he had become 
responsible. More than this : the man who pays for the land must fairly be held to be the owner; 
so far back as king Canut the law said : " He who has ' defended ' land with the witness of the 
shire is to enjoy it without question during his life, and on his death may give it or sell it to whom 
he pleases." 1 

The upshot is seen later in the special remissions of taxation obtained, and compositions often 
made by great men with the king ; the tremendous expansion of the manorial system of ownership 
and courts of justice, and the steady growth of feudal services and burdens which pressed so hardly 
on the villains — the small "subsistence farmers" who were so largely the agricultural labourers of 
the Middle Ages. 

This explanation of the manor makes it easy to understand how places at a distance, like the 
Southwark and London houses in the Blechingley Domesday, come to be returned so apparently 
disconnectedly. It is of no consequence to the king where the land lies so long as it does not 
escape taxation. As an appanage of a manor the unfree land gelds — i.e., pays taxes — in the manor 
to which it belongs ; and this principle extends in Domesday Book not only to property, but to 
tenants ; even to sokemen or freemen, who, when their own holding is not itself a manor, are 
often said to " lie in," or belong to, some quite distant manor of their lord. Once more to quote 
" Nulle terre sans seigneur,'" it may be said that in Domesday Book all land is either held as a manor 
itself or as part of a manor ; no land is both a manor and a part of another manor. Later on, 
as subinfeudation multiplied, a manor could be held of a, manor, and so the same plot of land could 
be in two manors; but not in Domesday Book. 

The hide, as stated above, was the unit of assessment, and not an area of measurement. The 
derivation of the word Higid is from the Anglo-Saxon Hiw, a house ; hiwide or hiwship, an estate 
sufficient to support one family or household, terra familial. 2 For Domesday purposes the hide 
contained four virgates of 30 acres each, or a "long hundred" (120) acres; but it must not for a 
moment be supposed that these hides were actually measured on the ground. Taking Blechingley 
parish alone, the reduction from 20 hides to 6 in Chivington, and from 10 hides to 3 in 
Blechingley, shews that actual areal acreage is not intended. Dr. Round supposes that each 
hundred was assessed under king Edward on a five-hide basis, in multiples of five and ten, and 
reduced in Domesday on a similar scale, so that king Edward's hundreds still remained the unit of 
taxation and retained their easily reckoned five-hide scale. A superficial attempt, however, to apply 
this to Tandridge hundred is not successful, for this hundred had 207 £ hides T.R.E. and 34 modo. 3 

The usual taxation, or Danegeld, in king Edward's and his predecessors' time was 2s. a hide 
yearly ; but the taxation of 1086 was the huge sum of 6s. per hide, which, as appears from the 
computation of hidage (Fnquisitio geldi) in the Exeter book, was the geld in 1083-4. 

1 I). 15. <V: 15., 55. '- Skcat, s.v. 

1 :< .Feudal Bng.," 11, stq. But tha question is beyond the scope of a parish history. 


The caruca or plough-team has been conclusively proved by Dr. Round 1 to mean a team 
of eight oxen ; since careful collation of Domesday Book with the original records of the 
Cambridgeshire hundreds mentioned above shews half a caruca and four oxen as convertible terms. 
The carucate, or plough-gang, was the measure of the plough-team's yearly work (i.e., land for one 
plough) ; and, while this must obviously vary, as it does to-day, with conditions of soil and aspect, 
it has been generally taken at 120 acres. So presumably, if the land was very good, one plough- 
gang would be assessed at one hide. 

However, the idea that in 1085 a single plough habitually and normally worked 120 statute 
acres is misleading, although so generally received ; and although Walter de Henley, who wrote on 
" Hosebondrie " about 1250, explains in a well-known passage how one plough can work 160 to 
180 acres by ploughing 44 weeks in the year. 2 Maitland himself calls this " a strenuous and 
sanguine if not an impossible programme " ; yet later on 3 he bases his calculations of arable land 
and produce on a plough-gang of 120 acres, which is only slightly less impossible. Of course one 
plough-team could plough 120 or even 180 acres in a year ; the point is that it is not reasonable to 
suppose (even though other team work such as hay-making was much less) that one team in 1085 
normally worked double the 50 or 60 acres, which would be a very full amount of land for one team 
nowadays. On the other hand, the eight-ox plough, which was undoubtedly the unit for counting 
plough-teams, though probably in general use on the lord's demesne, on to which the villains had 
to bring their oxen and render plough-service for their tenure, was most certainly not usual on the 
villain's own " shots." Among the pictures of ploughing preserved in MSS. of pre-Conquest date 
an eight-ox team is never seen, and in later illuminated MSS. ploughing is usually shewn being- 
done with four or only two oxen ; sometimes even with an ox and a horse yoked together. Such 
pictures put solid fact, the actual eye-witness of the artist, in place of theories, and remind one 
that farming was carried on then, as it still so largely is in England, as best it could be, by rule of 
thumb, and not according to theory. They prove too that a smaller and lighter plough must have 
been often used besides the huge wheeled demesne plough, which really needed eight oxen to drag 
it through stiff soil. At the same time, the suggestion must not be blinked that eight oxen may 
have ploughed as large an area as 120 acres in two or more teams. And the jurors would naturally 
take their own practice into consideration in answering the questions put to them. In short, it is 
unreasonable to suppose that a plough-gang and 120 or any other exactly fixed number of statute 
acres can be proved to be convertible terms, as a plough -team and eight oxen have been. 

A plough-gang was a rough estimate of such area as the jurors — all local men knowing their 
own local conditions — considered a team of eight oxen could work in a year, but not what they 
could work as an eight-ox team. They knew from their actual experience of ploughing for the 
lord how much he had in demesne ; they knew how many days they were bound to plough for him 
with eight oxen in a team; they knew how many plough-teams their own village community could 
muster; and the oldest of them remembered how many teams there had been 20 years before 
(i.e., for how many ploughs there was land in 1066). Obviously the more days they had to plough 
with eight oxen for the lord, the fewer days could they afford to plough with eight or even with 
four oxen for themselves ; and since their very lives depended on their harvest they would plough 
two or three acres with four two-ox ploughs in a day in preference to one acre with one plough with 
eight oxen. When ploughing for themselves they would work longer hours and plough " flitter " 
in order to cover the ground. 4 All this seems lengthy and inconclusive, but it shews the difficulties 
of attempting to reconstruct the conditions of Norman days, and will be of service presently in 
considering Blechingley acreages. 

1 " Feudal Eugland," 35, seq. 3 ~D. B. & B., 598 and 435-6, etc. 

5 " Walter of Henley," W. C. Lamond, R. Hist. Soc, 4 " Flit " or " fleet," i.e., shallower, a common south 

1890, 8, 8. country word. 


As regards the peasants, the villani, or villains, were the townsmen or members of a vill- 
community. This implies common fields held by them, and also implies service to the lord of the 
manor. Thus they shared in the plough-team association of the vill or township, but were bound 
to render service to the lord, even though nominally free. Every villain was a householder owning 
plough-oxen, a team or half a team, or at the least a pair; and all had land allotted them, 
sometimes as much as a whole hide, and at the very least a virgate, or one quarter of a hide. 

The Bordarii were much smaller holders. The Anglo-Saxon word Bord is our board or plank, 
and implies a timber hut. Bordars as a rule owned no plough-oxen or at most a pair ; their 
holding would be merely a croft round their dwelling, which the lord supplied with the scanty 
necessaries in the way of furniture as a loan for life, in return for which they worked as labourers 
cm the lord's demesne, being practically, as we should say, the hands on the home farm. 

It has been acutely remarked that the Bordars formed the class into which the villains were 
sinking and the serfs rising, and that the twenty years between the Conquest and Domesday Book 
had already seen a diminution of the number of villani and an increase of the bordarii. 1 

The servi, serfs or bondmen, probably largely represent the remains of the Keltic population. 
In Surrey, Kent and Sussex they represent about 10 per cent., while in Cornwall and Devon they 
are 20 per cent, and in Gloucester 30 per cent, of the population enumerated. Mr. Maiden 2 has 
pointed out that no Surrey manors are mentioned exclusively on the wealden clay except Hoclei 
(Ockley) on the old Roman street. Tandridge hundred general^, like Blechingley itself, has all its 
southern half on the weald, and the proportion of serfs to the population throughout the hundred 
is one in four, whereas throughout Surrey it is only one in nine or ten. Where, as in Blechingley, 
the manor extends onto the uncultivated forest the tenures are unfree and the number of serfs 
unusually large ; moreover, bondage lingers on to a much later date than elsewhere, and this may 
be explained by the larger Keltic fringe left on the edge of the great and scarcely inhabited 
Andrades Wald, where the British had taken refuge. 

The common fields, the village plough-lands, which, as Mr. Maiden suggests, must have existed 
in Surrey manors wherever villani were numerous enough to form a plough-team association, 3 were 
worked either on the two or three field system. In the two-field system half was sown and half 
fallowed every year ; in the three-field system the land was fallowed every third year. The common 
fields were all divided into " shots" or strips of one acre each, the normal shape of the acre being 
one furlong (40 rods) in length, and four rods (a cricket pitch) in breadth; subdivisions of quarter 
acres, one rod wide, also occurred, and the boundaries were generally made with baulks of turf. 4 
These uncomfortable strips were ploughed by the village teams, both for the villains themselves 
and for their lord, whose arable land lay scattered in strips all among the rest. This was so for the 
good reason that, as soon as harvest was over, the cattle of the vill were turned out onto the arable 
land, which, with the exception of the small parcels of meadow specially mentioned, was the only 
fenced land in the pai'ish. For the rest of the year, unless housed, the cattle depastured on the 
open commons and wastes of the manor; hence the absolute necessity of common rights and their 
protection later on by the Statute of Merton (1236) and the second Statute of Westminster (1285), 
forbidding enclosures of wastes. 

The demesne land was the land actually " in hand," and farmed by the lord himself ; but 
besides, or instead of strips in the common fields, it sometimes formed a separate farm even as 
early as 1086, and this holding of demesne " in severalty " naturally tended to become more 
common. Demesne lands were exempted in Domesday times, as appears from the Exeter Geld 

1 J. II. Hound, "Antiquary " for 1882, VI., 9; and cf. 4 For more detail as to the ancient field measures, see 

Stubbs, I., -188. the late Professor Maitland's " Domosday and Beyond," 

" Villana^e in the Weald of Surrey, 8. A. C, xx., 142. Essay III., s. 1— Measures and Fields, where a very difficult 

3 Ibid., 146. subject is treated in a most fascinating manner. 


book already quoted, but, as has been seen, the lord was liable for the tax on the villains' land and 
was so practically the owner of it. 

With these attempted aids an effort must be made to explain the Domesday Book record of 
Blechingley in the light of local knowledge, taking it as far as possible clause by clause. But the 
subject so bristles with difficulties, is so undermined with pitfalls, and is yet so tempting a field 
for exploration that the writer only ventui'es upon it with the humblest sense of bis need for 
indulgence. But to begin: "Richard de Tonbridge holds Civentone in demesne. Aluod held it of 
king Edward. It was then assessed for 20 hides, now for 6 hides." 

The first thing to strike the reader will be the very heavy drop in the valuations of Civentone 
and Blachingelie — both in the same proportion — from 20 hides to 6 and from 10 bides to 3. 
But heavy as it is, it is less than other places in the hundred lost. Tern ige (Tandridge) dropped from 
10 hides to 2; Tellingdone (Tillingdown), also held by Alnod under king Edward, from 10 to 
1| hides ; Caterham and Chelsham were both reduced from 10 to 2 hides, while Ferlega (Farleigh) 
actually fell from 6 to | a bide. This reduction of assessment is general throughout both Surrey 
and Sussex and it also occurs in Hampshire and Berkshire. It is possibly explained by the 
ravages of the Conqueror's army, as the late Mr. Francis Baring has tried to shew in his " Domesday 
Tables " ; but the question belongs to Domesday Book in general and need only be noticed here. 

Civentone is Chivington, now only a small farmhouse and buildings standing a sbort distance 
back on the south side of the road from Blechingley to Godstone, just west of Water Farm. The 
Domesday spelling probably accurately represents both the modern spelling and the ancient 
pronunciation, for in 1085 Latin was generally pronounced in the Italian fashion, and it is 
moreover quite possible that the actual scribe was an Italian. 

It will at once be noticed that Civentone " defended itself " — i.e., was assessed — for double the 
amount of Blachingelie. As already said, the rich land of the valley from Godstone to Merstham 
was the first to be cultivated. The fact of the Roman remains being found at Pendell point to the 
same conclusion, so that it is not surprising to find that the first Saxon " ton " or fenced homestead 
in the parish was still, at the date of the Conquest, a larger and more important holding than the 
more recent settlement on the higher ground at Blechingley itself. 

Of the dispossessed Saxons Alnod, who held Chivington, is possibly the same as Alnod Cild, 
" childe Alnod," otherwise JElfnoth, or iEthelnoth, of Canterbury, a nobleman who held large 
estates in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and elsewhere under Edward the Confessor. 1 In Tandridge 
hundred Alnod also held Tellingdone which, with Bockelunt (Buckland) in Cherchfelle (Reigate) 
hundred, another of his Surrey manors, was numbered among the holdings of Richard de Tonbridge. 
Whether Alnod was identical with Elnod who held one of the three manors in Blachingelie it is 
impossible to say, but the name, especially in the form JUlfnoth, was a common one.' 
Alfech does not occur elsewhere in the Surrey survey. 

Alwin occurs as holding in king Edward's time Hurtmore in Godalming and land in Blackheath 
hundred, while Alwin Boi, perhaps the same, held Chilworth in Blackheath ; Hurtmore went to 
Walter Fitz-Other ; the Blackheath lands to the great Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. An Alwin also 
held Talworth or Tolworth Court in Ditton, Walton on the Hill, and land at Ockley. The manors 
of all these last three places passed to Richard de Tonbridge, and this may be considered as some 
evidence that the Alwin who held them was identical with the Blechingley Alwin and distinct 
from the Alwin of Hurtmore and Blackheath. One other holding by an Alwin in king Edward's 
time is recorded under the land of the Abbey of Chertsey, viz., two hides in Tandridge hundred. 
This is tentatively identified as Thundersfield, 3 and is almost undoubtedly Harrowsley, also called 
Thundersfield, the more southerly of the two detached portions of Blechingley cum Home. 

> V. C. H., I., 282. s y c H ; i } 307 b- 

s See Ouoma^t. A. S., under Alnod and iElfnolh. 


All this does not tell much of the Saxon lords, but though it is impossible to identify the 
evicted owners or be certain that the Blechingley Alnod was the same as the great Saxon 
nobleman who held Bramley (which heads the fief of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux), and probably the 
important manor of Ban stead as well, still the name tout court may very likely be a contemptuous 
description by the Conqueror's scribe of the fallen lord. 1 

"There is land for 12 ploughs." — Here a far more serious difficulty arises than any 
identification of Saxon owners, and that is the identification of the land itself. Chivington 
appears in Domesday Book as an important manor, and Chivington stands to-day one of the 
least important small holdings in the parish ; and except for Domesday Book itself no one would 
know that Chivington had ever been other than it is. There is no other record of it as a manor 
nor of when it lost its early importance. It merged in Blechingley at an unknown date before 
1262, when the inquest held on the death of earl Bichard de Clare speaks of the manor and 
borough of Blechingley alone. That inquest is the earliest manorial record extant after 
Domesday, so the only certainty seems that the policy of Bichard de Tonbridge, who threw three 
Blechingley manors into one, was continued by his successors, who added Chivington to the manor 
in which their castle stood. The ancient boundaries of Chivington are therefore lost, while the 
three Blechingley manors can only be indicated on a balance of probability. In an attempt to 
recover these lost manors it will be best to state first what seem the most likely divisions, and then 
by the help of a cursory survey of the parish, as it may have been at the date of the Conquest, and 
with such evidence as is obtainable, to shew, not proof, but some reason for the suggestions 

Firstly, as to Chivington. It has already been seen how the boundaries of the manor of 
Blechingley extended to the Roman road on the east, in Godstone parish, and also included a 
rough parallelogram of some 150 acres or more in Caterham on the north ; and it has been claimed 
as probable that this extra-parochial territory belonged to the manor when first delimited — whether 
before or after the parish bounds were fixed. If that assumption be correct, it would be Chivington 
to which that land belonged in Saxon times, and Chivington probably took the normal lengthy 
shape from chalk downs to county boundary, while the width of the projection into Caterham seems 
to indicate the breadth of the manor at its northern end. Chivington, the hall, or "mansion 
house " which served this long territory, stood on the greensand in the fertile vale from Godstone 
Green to Merstham. Here all was corn-land from Roman days, and westwards at Pendell a Roman 
villa had stood ; it seems therefore reasonable to suppose that one of the three much smaller 
manors in Blechingley proper — all three of which together were assessed for only half the value of 
Chivington — stood also in the vale much where Pendell is. Blechingley itself was another manor 
with its hall also in the valley, at the Place, while the third was the detached freehold, the enclave 
of Ham, surrounded by Nuffield parish. 

On this assumption Home existed as yet only as a cultivated clearing in the weald, and would 
be represented by the quasi-manorial holding of Roger, which had no common fields. 

Now, leaving Home and Ham aside, Blechingley parish proper, some 5,600 acres, remains to 
be dealt with. Its outstanding features, as already seen, are the chalk range from east to west 
along its northern boundary, and the greensand ridge along the middle of it, parallel to the chalk, 
with the fertile valley, including Chivington and Pendell, between them. South of the greensand 
ridge the soil changes rather quickly to deep clay, and in 1086 it can be assumed with some 
confidence that there was practically no cultivation in Blechingley so far south as the railway, but 
that dense forest still extended southwards to the clearing in Home. 

The chalk range itself was bare down, up which the plough never crept until the population 
needed it ; and in early days there must have been a broad belt of untilled land, stretching from 

See V. C. EL, I., 282. 





the high road up Whitehill eastwards to Fosterdown by Godstone Corner. Taking the 400' contour, 
which roughly runs from where North Park Farm house now stands to the east side of Kitchen 
Coppice, this belt would comprise some 350 acres. 

Westwards across the White Hill road the downs break back, and Blechingley parish does not 
reach beyond their foothills at Blackbushes and the Quarry ; but, except for the interesting held 
name of Mainlands north of Blackbushes and the old Park Eoad opposite to it, no trace of early 
cultivation is found. The old name of Warwiek wood (nowadays absurdly called Warwick's Wold) 
sufficiently declares the unfilled nature of this north-west corner of the parish; while between 
Warwick wood and Blackbushes, the field names of Great Tye, Newlands and New meadow, with 
"Intacks" just over the border in Chaldon parish, point to the existence of a Tye or extensive 
common pasture. In fact the common existed in Tudor days, and (although Newlands was already 
enclosed in 1520) it was still of a considerable acreage in 1762 and only succumbed finally to the 
Enclosure Act of 1809 ; so that it may fairly be presumed that centuries before it had been much 
more extensive. Blackbushes itself was woodland in 1451, and had then very probably been 
reduced in size by clearings, while at Delvenieid, near Quarry House, stone had been worked since 
the days of Edward I. So all evidence points to wood, quarries and open common, or land not 
thought worth cultivating, extending from the White Hill road westwards to the Merstham 
boundary. Here would be not less than 150 acres reaching as far south as the extreme end of 
Blackbushes on the east, or White Hill road, side (allowing for a held or two against the road 
perhaps cut out and cultivated), but not coming so far south on the western side against Stocks 
and Spiims where the land was better. In a word, it seems safe along the north of the parish, to 
wipe 500 acres off the Domesday " land for ploughs." 

Taking the greensand ridge next, the whole of the hill-tops at that early date must certainly 
have been open forest. The name of "chart" for a rough heathery hill-top on the greensand 
formation, such as still crowns Tilburstow Hill, has been preserved by the chain of charts bearing 
the names of Limpsfield, Westerham, Brasted, Sevenoaks and Seal charts, stretching right away 
towards Maidstone. In Surrey the name, except at Limpsfield, and perhaps Chart or Churt near 
Frensham, has almost disappeared before continual enclosures, but in 1520 the Court Roll still 
speaks of " East chart," which was undoubtedly where Tilburstow Plantation stands to-day. 
Westwards from there the open forest came in early days right up to Garston House, and perhaps 
dipped below Pound House almost to the back door of Chivington itself. To-day the one fenced 
bit of common called Rabies Heath, where the parish still has rights of gravel digging, marks a far 
more wide-flung forest area. On the south side it embraced the long line of hanging hill from the 
eastern boundary of the parish right through to the high road above Sandhills, though Heavers 
was doubtless very early tilled. Above that long bank (known by the various names from east to 
west of Pinnockshill and Coldharbour, Gravel Hill, MichenalPs Bank and Bewelis Wood), from 
Rabies Heath by the Fever Hospital and across the 70-acre arable field of Town Farm, where field 
names (such as Brakyhill to-day and Hilly Furzefield on the Michenall's farm map of 1751) point 
to their forest origin, all the high ground must still have been chart in 1086. Its nature yet shews 
in the April glory of the gorse above Pound House, where the land bids fair to revert once more to 
forest, and in the braky heights of the grass land westwards, so that, considering all these features 
of the ground, a full 300 acres may be put down as chart in early Norman times. 

This chartland would naturally die out on the low ground of Catherine's Cross (Whitepost) 
and Funks bridge mead (below where the cemetery is). Just round the village itself the land would 
certainly be cultivated, and one common field can be located with certainty, immediately on the 
north of the village; but this must be dealt with presently. 

The village, it can readily be supposed, was very much smaller than it is to-day, and it lay 
towards the foot of the hill near St. Mary's, where a church perhaps existed long bafore the castle. 

e 2 


The Castle Square and the steep Parsonage or Stichens Lane, later called Schoolhouse Lane, would 
be outside it, and the lane itself formed a deep boundary between the common field on the east and 
open forest on the west. For from Castle cottage to the western parish boundary at Botteras Hill 
all the land north of the Reigate road was open chart, called Tilgate Heath. Common Lane is 
still the name of the road to Merstham, where it turns northwards from the high road, and 
" The Common " survives to this day as a three-acre field on which the parish have the right of 
playing cricket, lying between the north end of Barfields and the William IV. public house. 
Barfields is quite a modern growth, and where on greensand soil there was forest land on the 
slopes below, one can be quite certain that the top was bare of cultivation. Originally as far north as 
the old Pendell Mill pond and the modern ornamental Avater of Pendell Court was ling and bracken, 
and the manorial pound of Pendell stood till less than 200 years ago on the roadway at the foot of 
Pendell hill, the normal place for a pound just where chart and cultivation joined. Chart shaw, in 
the middle of Thomas land, preserves the recollection of the forest, while on the west side of the road 
Cocknam Broom, in the early sixteenth century at the foot of Pendell hill, marks how far the scrub 
had once extended. Cockley Plantation is but a century old, and when the Pest House at the top of 
it, near the golf links, was built in Tudor days or earlier, the site was chosen for its complete 
isolation on Tilgate Heath. As Great and Little Tilgate the forest land partly survived the 
onslaught of agriculture till the Enclosure Act of 1809, and the field names of Common field and 
Tilgates against the main road speak to their forest origin. At Domesday date there cannot 
have been less than 200 acres of forest land here, allowing for the chart extending over the 
Reigate road and southwards to the foot of the hanging hill, down which an old road from Botteras 
Cross once ran. 

Below the ridge on which the village and, later, the Castle stood, Underbills (or Castle farm) 
and Unwins have no doubt been tilled land from Saxon days, and corn land reached as far south as 
Sheppard's Hill and Mounts on Sandhills farm, where again the hill-tops would be crowned with 
rough broom and heather, but only as shrunken islands amid the cultivation. Immediately below 
Sheppard's Hill the field name of Middle Tye is found against the Nuffield boundary; it occurs 
again as a field name in what is now the upper parkland of Sandhills, while, further east, Tye mead 
and Tye coppice lie towards the north-east end of the South Park. It seems an irresistible 
inference therefore, that below the corn-land and just about where the soil changes to the stubborn 
nature of deep wealden clay, there was a belt of "Tye" or common pasture, on which the 
tangled wealden growth had been mostly cleared, and cattle fed. This would lie right along the 
valley immediately north of the railway from the Nuffield boundary to Norbryghts Hole on 
the Godstone side. Below this again the wealden forest would be untouched save for such 
trackway as there was to Home, some three miles further south. There was another Tye or 
common pasture at Horno, which the field name Bow tye (i.e., Rough Tye, but locally pronounced 
to rhyme with bough 1 ) still preserves; so that Middle Tye was truly named, tying between the 
Tye at Warwick Wood and Bow tye, the rough or less completely cleared Tye. The trackway to 
Home, not yet trodden every three weeks by the tenants who did suit of court at Blechinglev, but 
still used fairly often, is our Outwood Lane, and on the east side of it the common pasture, just 
described, with the untouched weald below as far as the old road called Gay Street which bounds 
JJorne and Blechingley, became later the South or Great Park of 1,686 acres. On the west side, 
supposing the same conditions to hold good, the Tye with the weald below as far as the Burstow 
boundary at Poundhill would amount to some 200 acres; but Doggetts is a very ancient holding, as 
is Poundhill itself, besides Churchlands and other parts of what is now Sandhills ; they probably were 
very early tilled, so 1,800 acres only shall be taken as the extent of the common grazings and 
unaltered weald. 

' A trough is still a " trow," rhyming with " no " in the south-country mouth. 


To sum up the wastes and forests therefore : — 

On the chalk against the northern boundary there was down and 

woodland, east of White Hill Eoad .... 350 acres. 

Do. west Do. ..... 150 „ 

On the greensand ridge at East Chart and Rabies Heath, open 

forest . . . . . . . . 300 „ 

On the greensand ridge, west of the village, i.e., on Tilgate Heath, 

Barfields, etc. . . . . . . . 200 „ 

While almost the whole of the south end was rough pasture and 

weald ........ 1800 „ 

So over half the parish was waste or un tilled land . . . 2800 

leaving 2605 

of cultivated land, making a total of 5405 „ 
which, with the 180 acres of Ham, makes the tithe map total of 5585 acres. 

On these 2600 cultivated acres (throwing the odd five to the greedy wastes), with the addition 
of Ham, 180 acres, and of whatever land there was ploughed at Home, there had been in king 
Edward's day 28 plough-lands, viz., 12 ploughs in Chivington, and 16 in Blechingley. If, as is 
supposed, a plough-land meant 120 acres, that would mean 3360 cultivated acres ; and there is no 
difficulty in findiug room for them if there was cultivated land where the South Park was afterwards 
enclosed, or if the 4000 acres of Home (not counting Harrowsley, which was not in Richard's 
hands) comprised much tillage. But Home is known to have been of much later growth, when 
population had increased and ironworks drew people into the weald ; while the fact that there was 
no church there until the thirteenth century forbids the idea that it was any more than a mere 
hamlet surrounded by some cultivated fields in 1086. The theory that a plough-gang contained 
normally as much as 120 acres has already been contested, while the suggestion that a plough-gang 
in the deep tenacious soil of the south of Blechingley and Home could be nearly so large as a 
plough-land in the vale where Chivington stood, is plainly repugnant to common sense and all 
experience. One local sidelight on the acreage of a plough-land can be gleaned from the Blechingley 
survey, if the identification of Ham as Peter's holding be correct. 1 Peter and his villains each had 
one plough ; there were 3 acres of meadow, besides buildings and the inevitable waste of baulks 
and scraps, roadways and odd corners ; while the area of the island Ham, all told, was only 
180 acres. Ham was, as will be seen, cultivated to the full ; but even so the land actually ploughed 
by one plough cannot possibly have much exceeded 80 acres, and though it is true Ham lies on the 
clay, its soil is not nearly so tenacious as that of the South Park or of Home. It may, therefore, 
with some confidence be assumed that 90 acres reckoned to a plough-land would amply cover not 
only the land actually ploughed, but the "gross acreage" of the cultivated ground, including baulks 
and odd corners, roadways and water in a country like Blechingley. At this rate the 28 plough- 
lands of the Confessor's day would find plenty of room in the suggested 2600 acres of cultivated 
land in Blechingley, while one of them being no doubt at Horne leaves a still more ample 

Returning now to Chivington, the land for 12 ploughs, say in round figures 1200 acres, lay 
chiefly in the fertile valley bounded on the east by the Roman road ; on the north by the north 
downs ; on the south by the open land of Wolcuestede, now Godstone Green, and by the chart along 
the greensand ridge; and on the west by the two adjoining manors in Blechingley. The western 
boundary is clearly indicated at Haxted comer (just at the south-east of the old Hill camp) by the 

1 See below, under Ham in this chapter. 


width of the projection into Caterham already noticed (on which there would no doubt be one 
detached plough-land), while further south the deep old road known as Workhouse Lane, running 
northwards from Blechingley village and itself forming almost beyond doubt the eastern boundary 
of a Blechingley common field, strongly suggests that it bounded Chivington also. As the map 
shews, the line of this road, if continued northwards from where it turns to-day so sharply 
westwards to the Place, would just about cut the north parish boundary at Haxted corner, where 
the manorial and parochial boundary once more coincide. 

Within these bounds, allowing for the unfilled down and chartland but reckoning a plough-land 
in the Caterham territory on the top, there would be well over 800 acres of cultivated land ; so 
that, as might be expected, two-thirds of the Chivington arable lay in the greensand valley. On 
the south side of the greensand ridge there would therefore be only three plough-lands above the 
Tye or common pasture before the weald claimed its own ; and sufficient acreage for these would 
be found on the two farms of Underhills and Coldharbour alone, since the plough on that side 
would naturally go to the foot of the hanging bank as it still does to-day, and practically nil the 
land would be under plough, except just the braky hill-top of the mount in the middle of 
Coldharbour farm. 

Thus Chivington's 12 plough-lands would be, shortly : on the top of the downs, in Caterham, 
one ; in the fertile greensand valley below, seven (of which sufficient area for one at least was to be 
found in Godstone); on the clay below the greensand and above the Tye and weald beyond it, three; 
and in the backwoods of Home, one; while of these 12, which were ploughed in pre-Conquest days, 
only 11^ were being worked in 1086. 

This division between the manors of Blechingley and Chivington suggests that from 
St. Catherine's Cross (Whitepost) the line of the manorial boundary is indicated by the long narrow 
holding of Michenall's, stretching down to the Middle Tye. South of this Blechingley and 
Chivington may have divided between them what subsequently became the South Park, and, still 
further south, the parish of Home, out to the county boundary. In this case Home church and 
village, standing rather to the western side of the block, probably do not mark the site of Roger's 
holding in 1086. The first corn-land may well have been near Gould's farm, from which the curious 
" horn " (of Home parish territory, between Crocker's Lane and Hare Lane) projects into Godstone, 
almost severing that parish, in order to reach the Roman road at Bliudley Heath. This hornlike 
projection probably gave its name to Home, since Horn means horn in "Anglo-Saxon" as well as 
English, and at its root, it may be noted, is some of the best land in Home parish. Possibly, of 
course, the northern end of Burstow parish marks the southern end of Blechingley on both sides of 
the Outwood Lane ; but however that may be, the union of the manors and the enclosure of the 
South Park before 1262 wiped awa} r all recollection of the Chivington bounds, and it is only a 
suggestion, prompted by analogy, that Chivington and Blechingley ran side by side from chalk 
downs to county boundary. 

The plough-lands of Chivington thus account only for 900 acres in Blechingley parish proper, 
since three plough-lands lay respectively in Caterham, Godstone and Home. This leaves 1700 acres 
of the 2600 estimated as cultivable (besides Ham, 180 acres, where there were two ploughs) for the 
16 ploughs in Blechingley, so that the acreage in round figures (allowing fully for wastes and 
reckoning a plough-land at 100 acres gross acreage on the map) finds all the arable land claimed by 
the Domesday inquest for both Chivington and Blechingley, without supposing an acre to have been 
cultivated Oil the land which afterwards became the South Park, and reckoning only one plough- 
land Roger's demesne — as under plough in Eorne. If 120 acres to the plough-land be insisted on, 
at least on the greensand, there is still a margin towards the extra area, since, including Ham, there 
are 18H0 acres left for 16 [dough-lands; but the attempt at recovering the two chief manors will 
probably be held to be already quite as detailed as fairly bold presumptions will warrant. 


The three manors in Blechingley must be dealt with presently ; meanwhile, the Chivington 
survey calls for further examination. 

" In demesne there are 2\ ploughs; 23 villains, one bordar, with 9 ploughs. There are 9 serfs, one 
mill of 22 pence." — Of the demesne a great deal of the plough-land would lie scattered in strips among 
those of the villains in the common fields. One, or perhaps two, of these common fields lay along the 
valley, where the enclosure of the North Park obliterated traces of cultivation for centuries, while 
at the disparting there was a completely new cutting up and laying out of farm lands, so it is not 
strange that common fields have quite disappeared. But it must also be remembered that the 
Common-field system was already a decaying one when the Normans came to England, and although 
its decay was not rapid enough to have caused anything like its total disappearance at the dawn of 
the nineteenth century — so slow have been the processes of English life — yet in 1086 the system was 
certainly not universally in force, if indeed it ever had been universal. Chivington itself points to 
the early existence of severalty, for the Caterham territory, divided from the rest of the manor by 
the chalk downs and, judging from the nature of the ground, probably largely woodland (so that 
only 100 acres of it has been claimed as arable), suggests one large holding. Garstone again, quite 
one of the oldest holdings in the parish, 1 may well have been a separate holding in Saxon days, 
partly cut out of the chartland above and south of it. 

As for the population, certainty all the 23 villains and probably all the serfs too, would be 
heads of families. The persistence with which numbers of villains and holdings coincide in the 
earliest court rolls extant (towards the end of the thirteenth century) sufficiently proves that a 
villain implies a holding. If some of these had, as suggested, holdings in severalty, there would be 
a house and buildings on them, e.g., at Upwood and Garstone, and perhaps at Isemongers (Water 
Earm) and Stangrave (Ivy House) as well, while below the chart Babies and Coldharbour may well 
have already been the site of dwellings. Others probably clustered on the Roman road at the 
north-east end of Godstone Green (Needles Bank), which later on the enclosure of the North Park 
may have caused to be abandoned. At any rate, the Saxon village of Wolcnested certainly lay 
round the minster at St. Nicholas, and the Godstone of to-day did not grow round the green till 
Elizabeth's time. But the manor of Blechingley probably always had tenements there, like Derby's 
in Henry VIII.'s day. 2 At the mill, too, there would certainly be at least one house. Like 
most of the Domesday mills (all water mills) Ivy Mill still works to-day, standing picturesquely 
sheltered by its own pond-bay, which discharges to form the Stratton brook and flow beneath the old 
Roman road some furlong eastwards. As mills went it was a poor one at 2s. 8d., for 148 mills in 
Sussex averaged 8s. 2d. apiece. 3 Mills were invariably the property of the lord, whose tenants were 
compelled to bring their corn to be ground at the lord's mill. 1 This was oftentimes a great hardship 
owing to distance, as indeed it must have been in this case, since Ivy Mill lies on the edge of the 
manor with all the high ground of the chart between it and the southern corn-land ; and this may 
possibly account for its small value. One of the serfs perhaps would be miller. The one bordar 
would have the usual bordar's allowance of five acres round his cottage, and having no share in the 
plough-team community would be a "whole time" servant, as shepherd perhaps, or minding the 
pannage pigs. His cottage may well have stood on his own little tongue of tillage stretching up 
on to the chart, where Pound House stands to-day, and it is hard to reject the idea that this name 
marks the site of the manorial pound of Chivington — a most likely position as a barbican to the 
corn-land against " estrays " ; so the little farm house, which contains brickwork dating back to 
Tudor days, may well stand on a Saxon site. And in further support of this, it may be pointed out 

1 See Chapter IV. — William de Garstone's conveyance probably lived there, made his will in 1487 (Archd. Surr. S., 
of land in 1229. p. 58). 

2 "Derbys," at the north-east of the gre?n, occurs in the 3 Ellis, Introd. to I). B., I., 124. 
Carew Court rolls, and a " Richard Darby of Godyston," who 4 It was an offence to own a handquern. 


how the pound of Blechingley, in Castle Square, stood on the edge of Tilgate Heath, and the 
Pendell pound at the foot of Pendell hill, where again the forest land gave place to cultivation. 

Chivington itself must have been a settlement of considerable importance, and though it had 
no proper moat, was fenced with ditches and probably walls of stones and turves; indeed, some of 
the existing ditches with traces of dry stone walling in their banks may well date back for very 
many centuries and preserve the line of Saxon defences. Within these the Hall of the Saxon lord 
stood, surrounded by its scanty mud huts for labourers and serfs, dwellings little better than the 
rude shelters for plough-teams and milch kine and the few horses, all of which, men and beasts 
collectively, made the farming stock of the Saxon thane. 

The numbers given, 23 villains, 9 serfs and a bordar, would represent some 150 to 160 souls at 
the normal computation of five to a family. No doubt at the hall itself there would be several 
families, including unmarried serfs who would " lie rough " about the curtilage ; while the 
homesteads of the villains were rude constructions of timber framing filled with wattle and daub, 
i.e., panels made of interwoven withes daubed with wet clay, baked hard in the sun and perhaps lime 
whitened afterwards. The nine ploughs would mean 72 oxen — eight to a team or an average of less 
than two yoke (four oxen) — to a holding ; the lord had two and a half teams as well, but even so 
the number of oxen seems to dispose of the idea that all the ploughing was done with an eight-ox 
team, though the full number would be used for the heavy demesne plough. 

The serfs are a large proportion and had very likely been brought up from the weald below, to 
where on the demesne land they would be more directly under the eye of the reeve or provost 
(propositus). This official was foreman and, as Walter of Henley tells, 1 ought to be elected 
by the township (i.e., the villains) as the best husbandman among them; he saw that "all 
the servants of the court rose and that the ploughs were yoked at the proper time," and it shews 
the customary freedom of the villain, despite his servile tenure, that the plough-team community 
elected their own overseer. 

" From herbage 12 pigs ; wood worth 50 pigs from pannage." — The 50 pigs, produce of the 
woodland or forest, meant that in average years there was food enough, chiefly acorns, for about 
350 pigs, and the lord took every seventh pig in return for their depasturing on his waste. In the 
same way the 12 pigs from herbage would represent some 84 swine turned out on the rough grass 
and unfenced pastures. At least the Domesday Book for Sussex expressly states that the lord took 
every seventh pig for pannage throughout the county, and it may fairly be supposed the custom 
was much the same in southern Surrey. At Titsey the lord took one in seven and at Battersea one 
in ten according to Domesday Book. 

"16 acres of meadow." — These 16 acres of meadow were the most precious of all the land — the 
only fenced grass and the only fields cut for hay ; they would lie along a brookside, presumably 
near Water Farm, and Stangrave (Ivy House). 

" Of these hides Roger holds half a hide ; there he has in demesne one plough with five 
bordars." — Besides Richard himself, it will be noticed that Roger also held land in demesne — a free 
and quasi-manorial holding clearly in severalty and assessed at half a hide or 3s. (the Conqueror's 
tax being, as before said, 6s. a hide, or three times as much as in the Confessor's day). 

This land had no common fields since there were no members of a plough-team community, or 
villains, on it. The only population given is five bordars, who, as already seen, would have their 
cottage and five acres apiece, but owned, as a rule, no oxen ; were supplied by their lord with their 
pots and pans and scanty furniture, and gave in return all their time, not merely specified services, 
to the lord's demesne. The plough-land here, therefore, seems strongly indicated as the much 
more recent clearing on the weald at Home. Here, perhaps, some serfs, instead of being 
transplanted to the demesne of Chivington and Blechingley above, had been raised to the status 

1 Walter of Henley, 96—9. 


of bordars as an encouragement in the work of reclamation on new land. There would be no 
"hall/' in the manorial sense of a house against which geld was charged, since the land gelded in 
Chivington ; and probably Roger (a Norman name) only rarely visited his outlying property. No 
pigs are mentioned, not because none were kept to feed on the plentiful pannage of the weald, but 
because they all belonged to Roger ; since the bordars being wholly his men had no customary 
rights as villains had, and therefore there were no " tax pigs." 

"In Sudwerche he has 3 closes of 15 pence value and in London 2 dwellings of 10 pence." 
— Roger was clearly an important man, holding tenements in Southwark and in London itself, 
and as Roger was a de Clare name it is tempting to suggest that he was that Roger, the second 
son of the great Richard de Tollbridge, who inherited his father's Norman lands of Bienfaite and 
Orbec, but died without issue. If, as Professor Maitland has suggested, the holding of these 
"town houses" under a country manor was connected with the duties of "burgward" or the 
defence of the " Southern work" — "Suthringa geweorc," the Thames tete-de-pont at Southwark — 
it does not make it the less likely that they should be granted by Richard to his son. But the 
"town house" question is again too wide a one to pursue; 1 moreover, in the absence of a 
nominative it is not quite clear whether Richard or Roger held these houses. 

To sum up : Chivington as a manor comprised about half of the fertile valley in Blechingley, 
including Godstone valley-territory as far east as the Roman road; it had corn-land on the top of 
the chalk downs in Caterham; and more again south of East chart ; it had a considerable stretch 
of water meadows for hay running down towards the mill-pond ; it had ample pannage on the 
chart and in the weald below ; besides common pasture on the fringe of the wealden forest ; and 
it had a manorial mill at its eastern end. 

Below in Home it had a detached clearing in the woodland of the weald, where there was no 
common field, and all the land was in demesne worked by some half-dozen families. 

The total population — 33 given — counting Home, represents about 170 souls, and of the 
23 villains some perhaps held land in severalty instead of, or in addition to, strips in the common 
fields. A hamlet probably existed above Godstone Green on the Roman road, and the Saxons no 
doubt attended Wolcnested minster, until the building of a new church at Blechingley and the 
growing importance of that place, chosen, perhaps by its first Norman owner, for his castle, checked 
further development at Chivington. 

So Chivington, which "never grew up/' may well give a better idea of what many Saxon 
settlements were like than larger places can. It remained a scattered cluster (if the expression 
may be allowed) of homesteads, such as Garstone and Ivy House, centering round the chief hall at 
Chivington itself; with a detached hamlet on the Roman road, and outlying severalty below the 
chart and on the chalk hills ; while, miles beyond, it stretched southwards, with only a small 
clearing in the weald, to the county boundary. It suggests in fact that it should have become 
another parish; but the gain of Blechingley was the loss of Chivington in days when population 
was sparse ; while the enclosure of the North Park, perhaps not long after the Great 
Survey, robbed Chivington not only of much land, but of its already shrunken administrative 
importance, so that before the first de Clare inquest of 1262 it had already sunk to a mere 
tenant's holding. 

"Richard himself holds Blachingelie. iElfech, Alwin and Elnod held it of king Edward. 
It was then assessed for 10 hides, now for 3 hides. There is land for 16 ploughs. There were 
3 manors ; it is now made into one manor." — Richard had Blechingley also in his own hands ; 
there would seem no difference in sense, merely of wording, between "Richard holds Civentone in 
demesne" and "Richard himself holds Blachingelie," especially as the Domesday scribe habitually 
shunned tautology. As already suggested, Blechingley village itself was a later settlement than 

1 See V. C. H. ; I., 284 ; seq. 



Chivington, and if the derivation of "the bleaching- lay" or green he correct, it argues some sort 
of industry. Tbere would, therefore, have been a more definite village than there ever was at 
Chivington, and possibly this first clustered round a timber church where St. Mary stands, till it 
began to creep up the hill in something like a street. 

The tbree Saxons no doubt held one "hall" or manor apiece, but as landholders they had 
ceased to exist before 103G. All there seems to say of them has already been said, while 
the proportionately similar reduction of assessment in Blechingley and Chivington has also 
been noticed. 

As for the three manors, the supposition is that one was the outlying hall emphatically called 
Ham, the home in the territory of neighbours, so that in Blechingley proper there were only two. 
These would be firstly Blechingley itself, which from the Caterham boundary at Haxted Corner 
marched with Chivington down the line of Workhouse Lane and from St. Catherine's Cross, 
perhaps along Michenall's, southwards to join Burstow, and thence possibly, still side by side wiih 
Chivington, the whole way to the county boundary ; and secondly, a small and compact manor on 
the site of the lost Roman villa at Pendell. 

The road down Parsonage Lane and up White Hill is probably the oldest in the parish (save 
for the east and west track called the Pilgrims' way), and the hamlet of Brewer Street is probably 
much older than the village of Blechingley itself, for just as the Roman Villa and Chivington are 
both in the fertile greensand valley, so the earliest Saxon hall of Blechingley may well have stood 
in it also, and that too very likely on the same spot, where presumably the de Clare court-house 
and garden stood in 1262, and much later their ducal descendant built himself a palace. 

The other manor, perhaps called Pende, lay on the west of the White Hill road occupying all 
the north-west corner of the parish, and cut off on the south from the cultivated territory of 
Blechingley below the castle ridge by its own waste land, i.e., the chart extending from Pendell 
Water over Tilgate to south of Botteras Cross. The earliest Saxons very likely seized and burnt 
the Roman house ; later comers settled down and built a hall on the site of the old curtilage, wheie 
ruined walls and enclosures still marked the chief " Penn " or enclosure of the locality (from 
Pyndan, to confine, whence "pound" or "pinfold"). Thus "Pende" grew into a compact and 
well-to-do little "manor," but had small scope for expansion such as had Blechingley, where the 
greensand ridge soon proved attractive. Here the village began to grow, as the breezy upland 
grass or leah on the south side of it was found a convenient place for pegging out cloth to bleach 
in the sun. Thus (or, if that derivation be too picturesque, perhaps merely as the Bleicing grew 
in numbers) the corn-land spread further south below the hill, and Blechingley came to own a 
larger, though less fertile tract, of arable than Pende. Then came the Conquest, and the Norman 
lord found Blechingley a growing place, chose the commanding site of Castle Hill, and then threw 
up the first earthworks and stockading of a castle. Pende was rich but small, and it was close at 
hand ; there seemed no use for two mansions, especially since Blechingley was fortified. Ham was 
fertile, too, but not of sufficient size to keep as a separate manor, so Richard centralized the 
property; making all the tenants come to one mansion to do suit — thus Blechingley, the site of the 
growing town and of the lord's castle, naturally gave its name to the unified manors, and Pende 
remained only as the name of a district where villains lived, as Gilbert and Philip atte Pende still 
did in 1296. Moreover, down at Pende other lands had acquired names, as Warwick Wood and 
Spinns (the rich ground), while the stocks or fulling-mills had been set up on land once in Pende 
manor, so the name became gradually restricted to its more central part at the foot of the 
hill — the Pende hill or hill down to the enclosure. Then for clearness' sake Pendhill was 
used rather than Pende, which might mean a much wider tract ; and so when the place grew 
once more into importance, it was as Pendhill, and then Pendell, that it became again a 
subinfeudated manor. 



(From a sketch by E. Christie.) 

The dale 1674 marks the building or repair of chimney and oven. 

The cottage itself is probably of early Tudor date. 



In demesne there are 3 ploughs ; 20 villains, 4 bordars with" 9 ploughs. There 
are there 7 serfs."' — Of the 16 plough-lands, of which only 12 were cultivated, three in 
demesne and nine by the villains, it seems possible to trace one common field on the "Pende" 
manor, extending westwards along the valley and ploughing over the lost Roman site north of 
Water Lane. That road perhaps partly bounded it on the south side, whilst westwards the Merstham 
road, which takes such an odd right-angled turn northwards at Westlands corner towards the 
Black brook bridge, seems to mark its south-western angle. Such a turn surely represents the 
headland of the plough, and though no field names just there support these boundaries, Upper and 
Lower Shots are found on the glebe land west of the old Eectory, while a common field, stretching 
from there and Thomas Land to Blackbridge must necessarily have been of an irregular shape 
because of the marsh land at Pendell. Afier allowing fully for wastes and woods of Warwick 
Wood and Blackbushes there is room for some 400 acres of arable on " Pende," and here no 
doubt the Norman lord would have a large part of his demesne because of the good soil. 

In Blechingley itself one common field can be recovered with more certainty immediately 
north of the village. This is the block of some 160 acres bounded on its south side by the 
churchyard and the backsides of the tenements in the village street ; on the west by Parsonage Lane 
dividing it from Tilgate chart, and on the east by Workhouse Lane, which bounded the manors of 
Chivington and Blechingley. Its northern boundary is the east and west road linking White Hill 
road with Workhouse Lane and preserving the same markedly right-angled turns at either corner 
already noticed in the Merstham Lane. The North Park pale, however, stood all along the north 
side of this road, and of course the deer park obliterated all other boundaries, and from the lie of 
the land it looks much as if 40 acres or more had been cut off the northern end of this common 
field and included in the park. However that may be, the field names of Furlongs and of Stichens 
both occur within this block, which is roughly a parallelogram, and coupled with the very piobable 
and normal site abutting on the village, seem to clinch its identification as a common field. The 
name of Stichens, the Anglo-Saxon styccen or pieces, i.e., the "stitches" or "lands" of arable 
ground, still spread over some 30 acres at the south end in 1841 ; while "Furlongs," the furrow 
lengths of the villains' yardlands, which in 1841 occurs only as a 14-acre field against Workhouse 
Lane, in the Clayton Survey of 1761 comprised over 30 acres, extending to the northern cross- 
road and the right-angled turn already noticed. 

From indications in early thirteenth-century deeds, to be described later, it seems probable 
that another common field was on and round Heavers, but though the site is likely enough it is 
not certain. The three plough-lands of the demesne would no doubt be partly scattered in strips 
among the common fields ; but since 25 per cent, of the whole corn-land was demesne, and further, 
the ground was much broken up with hills and waste, it seems likely that in rearranging the 
manors the lord would keep parcels of demesne in severalty, especially, as already suggested, on 
the best soil. It is also quite possible that villains held in stvejalty (as has appeared probable in 
Chivington), perhaps at Unwins, and further south at Doghurst and Poundhill. All of these seem 
to be Saxon names and may well have been corn patches long before 1086. 

As for population, the four bordars would normally have no share in the nine plough-teams 
but work on the lord's demesne, though the wording of the survey does not seem to exclude them, 
as it does the serfs. In any case, all the 31 named (omitting the dispossessed Saxon lords) may be 
taken for householders and represent some 160 souU — but little less than in Chivington. But 
besides the numbers given there may well have been other folk, not named because they did not 
come into the fiscal scheme of the survey. Thus, in the hamlet at Brewer Street, where possibly 
there were almost as many tenements as (here are to-day, though the houses would all have been 
tinier and crazier and meaner, probably every man was counted ; but in Blechingley itself, a more 
grown-up village, there would be artisans, working perhaps at the fulling mill and bleaching, 

f 2 


with a blacksmith and a wheelwright, a carpenter and a mason who did not count in the 
plough-team community and yet were neither bordars nor serfs ; and so spoilt the Domesday 
record as a census. The consolidation of the manors must have further added to the 
importance of Blechingley, while the enclosure of the North Park stunted any further growth of the 
Brewer Street hamlet, just as the building of the castle and of a stone church promoted that 
of Blechingley. 

" 14 acres of meadow." — The Domesday meadow is generally held to mean water meadow, and 
this would be found along the " Laybrook " (now largely underground), which ran from Town 
pond at the top of Heavers down to Funk's bridge, which carried the highway over it close to 
where the Plough Inn now stands. 

This Laybrook was thus at the eastern side of the upland leah which helped to name 
Blechingley. So here may well be one of the few fields in Blechingley which have never felt the 
plough. There is ample scope for the 14 acres of meadow land, when joined with the water 
meadows beyond Funk's bridge, while the steep bank against Coneyburrow field shews how old the 
plough-gang above is — Norman, perhaps Saxon, on the eastern side. 

" From the wood 40 pigs ; from herbage 13 pigs." — The pigs, as at Chivington, are rent pigs, to 
be multiplied by seven, thus representing 280 turned out in the weald below and 126 on the grass 
land of the Tye, or common pasture, from east to west of the parish above where the railway 
now runs. 

"In London and Sudwerche 7 dwellings worth 5s. 4d." — Sudwerche is an interlineation 
apparently in explanation of London, an interesting early suggestion of the "Greater London" 
which was to swallow up so much of Surrey. 1 The seven "dwellings" — " mansure" — at 5s. 4c?., 
roughly 9d. apiece, are of about average value. One Southwark house in Tandridge was worth 
only 2d., while in Godstone 15 were valued at 6s. and 2,000 herrings ; 500 herrings was the rent of 
a single Southwark house in Ditton ; in Mortlake four Southwark houses were worth only 2s. 2d. 
but in Merton 16 such houses averaged over Is. Id. apiece. 

"Of these 10 hides Odmus holds 2\ hides; Lemei 2 hides; Peter 1| hides." — The scribe 
harks back to the three manors now in one, originally assessed at 10 hides, and recites the holders' 
names in the order of the value of their holdings. The most valuable is probably the " Pende " 
manor, in the vale, held by Odmus, whose queer name seems not to be found elsewhere. 2 Perhaps 
it represents Woodman, just as Odemerestor is Woodman sterne in Domesday Book and Orde is 
perhaps the Wor. Lemei, a Saxon presumably, held the worse land at Blechingley itself ; while 
Peter, whose apostolic name conceals his race, was the freeholder at Ham. 

"In demesne there is one plough, 3 villains, 2 bordars with one plough, 3 acres of 
meadow." — Peter's name, rather confusingly for the modern interpreter, but quite naturally for 
the Domesday scribe, leads to the immediate description of his holding, which like Eoger's holding 
in Chivington includes demesne of its own. A manor within a manor does not exist in Domesday 
Book ; in Blechingley it has just been expressly stated that though there had been three, there was 
in 1086 only one manor, but it is quite clear that Peter held freely with almost manorial rights. 
Quite probably this favoured tenant, with his own estate and servants to work it for him, was the 
great Richard fitzGilbert's huntsman. Since the names of the pre-Conquest holders of the three 
manors have been given, Peter does not add one more to the two Saxon huntsmen, 3 who are known 
to have retained their lands in Surrey at the great eviction, for the sake, no doubt, of their cheery 
voice and the good sport they shewed. Peter may be either Saxon or Norman ; more probably the 

1 Nor ia this idea far-fetched, for Torksey, which had - Onomast. A. S. ignores it altogether, and Ellis gives 

been of militarj importance, is actually called ;i " Suburbium " this as its only occurrence in Domesday liook. 
of Lincoln in Domesday Book, though it is afull 10 miles from ■' V. C. U., I., -83. 

that city. (1). 1). and B., 177 and note.) 


latter, as the Saxons were not very scriptural in their names. 1 But though his race maybe doubtful, 
it seems more than probable he was ancestor of that William Venator (the huntsman) who in the 
early thirteenth century was selling land at Ham ; and through him of the Le Venur family, who 
in the fourteenth century held lands in Blechingley by the appropriate service of a barbed arrow. 
So Ham was a favoured and a prosperous settlement, and moreover, comparatively speaking, very 
populous, since 180 acres carried Peter himself besides three villains and two bordars. All these 
six would be heads of families, say some 30 souls, since a villain connotes a holding, while a bordar 
means a cottager; and since men in those days meant money, or money's value, to their master, it 
explains the early importance of the de Hamme family, sprung from Peter the huntsman and 
keeping the hereditary office in their family, till William Venator went out from Ham to found a 
new family with the surname of Le Venur. 

The two bordars would have no share in the plough owned by the three villains, but worked for 
Peter, on whose demesne the villains rendered plough service. 

As for the three acres of meadow, it seems at first sight odd that Ham, which lies by the 
river, should have so little grassland. But the actual boundary of Ham only touches the stream at 
two points, and follows a straight line at some distance west and north of the brook. This line 
represents the plough line of the original settler, and, when parish boundaries came to be fixed, 
only so much was counted to Blechingley as Ham actually used. Thus, since Ham was a detached 
holding, the odd strip between the Blechingley plough-gang and the brook was Nutfield territory. 
This can well be seen in the large map in pocket at end of volume. The point is worth dwelling on, 
because this absence of meadow-land might be used as an argument against the identification of 
Ham now put forward ; it enforces also the need for careful consideration of actual boundaries, 
which more often than not must have had some more direct reason than chance, however seldom it 
may nowadays be possible to recover their origin. Moreover, although so close to the river, the bulk 
of Ham stands up above floods ; it was, and is, good land as the large assessment of two hides on so 
small an area shews. It is further noticeable that there was no pig land, neither for pannage nor 
pasture ; it was all cultivated. In more modern days of course Ham acquired this strip (useless to 
any other land), and an old, but unfortunately undated map shews the land in Nuffield. Ham 
itself was handed bodily over to Nutfield parish in 1894. 

"The whole manor in king Edward's time was worth £13 ; afterwards £8. Now what Richard 
holds £12 and what his men hold 73s. 4d." — The whole manor valued successively at £13, £8 and 
£12 includes, of course, the three Saxon manors, and clearly Richard had taken some pains 
with this property. He consolidated the three manors, so must have either adopted a Saxon hall 
or built a manor house himself ; he had, moreover, very considerably increased the value of the 
manor, which, with the tenants' 73*. 4d. added, stood at £15 13s. 4d., or four marks more than the 
Edwardian valuation of £13, and that despite the very heavy drop, due perhaps to ravages at the 
Conquest. Whether Richard did anything in the way of fortifying Castle Hill is not said ; 
earthworks and stockading would have no assessable value, and so would not appear in a fiscal 

To sum up Blechingley. It included, in Blechingley parish of to-day, the small and fertile 
manor possibly called Pende in the greensand valley where the Roman villa had stood, and where 
Pendhill was later to become once more a manor by subinfeudation ; also the growing village of 
Blechingley itself with corn-lands, perhaps largely in severalty, reaching down to the boundary of 
Burstow; a considerable Tye at the north-west by Warwick Wood, and downland east of White 
Hill road as far as Haxted corner; also the whole, or the western half of the long narrow Tye 
stretching from west to east of the whole parish, rather north of where the railway runs to-day. 

1 Ouomast. A. S. gives several Peters, but they are nearly all baptismal names on conversion, or priests who possibly took the 
uaiue uu ordination. 


Southwards of this it perhaps bisected what is now Home longitudinally with Chivington ; but the 
only settlement in the weald then was on the Chivington, not the Blechingley side, of the present 
Horue parish. The third of the three Blechingley manors, which Richard threw into one, was the 
well-cultivated enclave of Ham, now part of Nuffield, held by Peter (perhaps the trusty huntsman 
of Richard de Tonbridge), which carried a population proportionately double that of Chivington or 
Blechingley. The largest part of the population lived in the village where there was perhaps 
already a Saxon church, and where Richard may have himself fixed the site of the castle and begun 
to build a stone church ; but there was also a hamlet at Brewer Street, as there is to-day, while at 
the only spot where any head of water could be had, near the good land of Spinns, there was 
already a " Stock " or fulling mill, while there was pasture along a small and now hidden stream 
from Hevers to Funk's Bridge mead, where the Plough Inn now stands. 

These three manors Richard consolidated and improved. The population seems to be about 
200, since there may well have been a few more artisans and servants of the lord — non tax-paying 
householders — in the village. 

Thus the total population of Blechingley may be summed up as follows : — 

Blechingley and Pendell 185, but with artisans not counted, say 200 

Ham 30 


Chivington ....... 155 

Home ....... 25 


or, leaving out Home and Ham, a total of some 355 for the Blechingley parish of to-day. 

There was further the detached portion called Thundersfield or Harrowsley, which ranked as a 
tithing. But this, as already seen, was held hy Alwin and then by the Abbot of Chertsey, so that 
it cannot have been one of the three manors consolidated by Richard, and it does not come within 
our purview. 

This concludes the attempted gloss on the Blechingley Domesday, for which the indulgence of 
the reader must be claimed, especially since those who disagree with the suggestions advanced can, 
from a knowledge of other parishes and other Domesday entries, fit for themselves different theories 
to the local conditions which have been sketched. The manors have obviously not been proved — 
proof seems impossible — and there is one local mystery which conceivably upsets the identifications 

Right in the very middle of the South Park, close to Lodge Farm, is a field called Chapel Plat, 
where are to be seen the very distinct remains of a "Homestead moat" of a type not at all 
uncommon in Surrey, especially on the clay, as at Rede Hall and Burstow Lodge, to name only the 
two nearest. The moat took the form of a rough parallelogram enclosing some two-thirds of an 
acre and measuring in its greatest length from east to west 300 feet. 1 Now if this moat dates from 
S;ixon days it would be hard to deny its claim to be the site of the Hall of one of the three manors; 
if so, either " Pende " or Ham must go. The work at Chapel Plat may be Saxon, but there is 
nothing inherently Saxon in the simple plan of a water defence by moat and mound in a clay 
country, and such strongholds were constructed throughout mediaeval days. In this case the 
enclosure of the South Park, perhaps in 1233, at any rate before 1262, makes it practically certain 
that the moat ami whatever buildings stood within it must have dated from before then ; unless 
the «!«• Clares troubled to erect a moated hunting-box so close to where they already had a castle 
ami a manor house. It is quite possible therefore, and it is a theory which would suit the dates, 

1 V. C. H., IV., 398-9. 


that here was one of those famous "adulterine" castles, which multiplied so enormously in the 
days of Stephen, and of which Henry 11. is said to have destroyed so many hundreds. It would 
consist entirely of earthworks and stockading', and may have been put up by a mere predatory 
squatter seeking solitude for his lawless stronghold in the weald; perhaps while the then Gilbert 
de Clave was warring in the north or shut up in prison and unable to protect Ins property. As for 
the field name of Chapel Plat which is found on the Clayton Estate map of 1761 and is still in use, 
it must be remembered that from the thirteenth till well into the seventeenth century the South 
Park knew no names. It was all deer land, and the only names it owned were those of its gates 
like Pottersgate, Parkgate and Tedhamgate. It is therefore quite incredible that the name of 
Chapel Plat has come down from any historical source. Brayley and Britton mention, but without 
quoting any origin and only to reject it, " a vague tradition that Blechingley once possessed seven 
churches." 1 The tradition was doubtless based on the fact that Home was a mission chapel from 
the parish church, and that the castle, the Place, Stangrave, Pendell and possibly Ham had all at 
one time or another owned private chapels ; so for that matter possibly even did this adulterine 
castle at Chapel Plat. Then, since obvious traces of habitation could be seen and no sort of 
recollection remained of what they were, nothing would be more natural than to point to them as 
" one of the lost churches"; and so tradition, growing by what it fed on, handed down the name of 
Chapel Plat from the date of the disparking and ploughing up of the land surrounding it. If this 
explanation of the moated enclosure be correct, it existed probably for but few years about 1140 — 
1160; certainly the position suggests no peaceful purpose if the land was still untouched weald. 
On the other hand it may represent the defended homestead of the first man who cleared and 
ploughed this stubborn soil, perhaps in the more settled times of Henry II., only to have his corn- 
land thrown back to waste next century as part of the de Clare deer-park. One other theory 
suggests itself as possible : was it an earlier de Clare stronghold, perhaps dismantled and 
abandoned when the stone fortress was built on the hill of Blechingley ? There are no traces of 
stonework at Chapel Plat, and stone would have had to be brought a considerable distance; no digging 
has ever been done, nor probably would it meet with much reward, since adequate defences could 
be raised with the materials at hand in plenty both then and now — timber, earth and water. But 
whether farm or fortress, the enclosure of the South Park wiped its name from the memory of man, 
and it was not until the laying out of the land in farms that it acquired a new and a misleading one, 
under which it still keeps its ancient secret. 

But if Chapel Plat owns no history at all, it cannot be said that the Castle of Blechingley itself 
boasts very much. It is recorded by Gervase of Canterbury in his Mappa Mundi as one of the four 
Surrey castles, Goseforde (? Guildford), Farnham, Eeigate and Biechingele in 1160 ; and it supplied 
men at the end of 1170 to watch round Canterbury against the escape of Becket just before the 
martyrdom, but no other notice of it except of its dismantling seems to occur. The stone keep, of 
which parts of the foundations still exist, dates from about the time of Stephen, but the remains 
are not sufficiently distinctive for experts to pronounce with certainty. It was probably built 
within earlier earthworks, for it seems likely that Richard de Tonbridge himself chose the site and 
fortified it with earthwork and palisades. The castle stands on the brow of the hill, in the grounds 
of the modern house to which it has given the name of Castle Hill. On the north side the 
ground falls gently from the high road towards the castle plateau, which has, perhaps, been rendered 
flatter by spade work. Northwards and westwards a double foss forming an inner and outer ward 
protected it, and the scarp no doubt returned eastwards also ; while southwards the characteristic 
formation of the greensand breaks abruptly for some hundred feet to the weald below. The eastern 
approach had a further natural defence in the steep — in ancient days no doubt almost precipitous — 
roadway, less than a hundred yards away, leading down to Castle Farm ; while on the west side the 

1 Brayley and B., IV., 110. 


old trackway from Botteras Cross southwards, called the Smugglers' Path, though over a furlong 
distant, would make approach more difficult from the Beigate side. 

Mr. Maiden in his account of the castle 1 says: "neither ravine formed part of the defences, 
though they would hamper an assailant advancing along the edge of the hill from either side," and 
certainly the smugglers' path seems some way off, hut the name of Botteras (Buttress ?) Cross and 
hill just possibly suggests the recollection of defensive works which might have served to enclose a 
compound for cattle or a sort of " lowey " outside the bailywick proper of the castle. 

Aubrey in 1673 saw a piece of wall six feet thick remaining, but Manning found nothing but 
foundations. Since their days much earth has been cleared away, and ill-judged attempts at 
" restoration," or rather fanciful piling-up of stones, which have since again fallen, has further 
complicated matters. The plan which Manning gives belongs to an earlier day than his own, while 
the present house called Castle Hill stands over part of the western extremity of the outer fosse, 
where about 1899, during additions to the house, red-deer antlers were dug up. Everything seems 
to have combined to make the reading of the castle's story difficult, but since a history of Blechingley 
would be like Hamlet without the prince if the castle were left out, and since an expert has already 
told the tale as far as it seems possible to tell it, no apology need be made, save to Mr. Maiden 
himself, for copying bodily from his paper which has just been quoted. He says : s — 

The works proper consisted of an outer ward surrounded by a ditch, and divided in two by a ditch, 
joining the outer fosse with another ditch round the inner ward. The western part of the outer ward 
must have been rather the larger. This outer ditch may have been lined on the inside by a wall, but there 
seem to be no traces of it. Perhaps there was only a palisade. The inner ward is partly surrounded by a 
ditch, forming about two-thirds of the segment of a circle, joined in the middle and at the extremities with 
the outer ditch. There are traces of a bank or wall along the inside edge of this inner ditch. The part 
of the inner ward not covered by this ditch abuts upon the steep slope of the hill. Modern paths and 
planting make it impossible to say if the hill was artificially scarped or not. The ditch was probably wet. 
So far as it still exists it seems to be on the same level. Part of the outer ditch is damp even now in a 
dry summer. At Blechingley Mill, at a higher level, there is a well whence water might have been pumped 
by a windmill to fill the ditch through pipes. That an enemy could cut this connexion is no objection to 
the theory. If he did it would not lay the ditch dry immediately. The very elaborate water defences of 
the De Clares' great castle at Caerphilly, and the wet ditch of Bodiham Castle in Sussex, could have been 
drained by an enterprising enemy with some skill in engineering. It was seldom that a mediaeval castle 
was exposed to such an attack. If it could protect its inmates for a few days against the foray of a 
passing foe, whose commissariat arrangements, or want of arrangements, would not allow him to remain 
long before the walls, it had answered its usual purpose. 

The plan marks a building in the inner ward, near where the inner and outer ditches are connected. 
No trace of this remains. It may have been a gate-house. Just opposite to where it was, on the outer 
side of the inner ditch, is something like a small mound, which may mark the site of a barbican covering a 
bridge across the ditch to this gate house. In the inner ward, near the edge of the hill, decidedly south 
of the centre of the incomplete circle formed by the ditch, and nearer to the west than to the eastern side, 
is the keep, standing nearly square to the points of the compass. It is a small square Norman keep, with 
the common cross wall inside from north to south, which was useful, not only for supporting floors and 
roof, but for holding the whole building together. It has the usual angle turrets. The north-eastern 
contained a spiral staircase. There is a well, now quite dry, which likely enough was only a receptacle 
for rain-water from the roofs. The argument against the keep being as early as the time of Richard de 
Tonebridge, such as it is, rests upon the appearance of some attempt at flanking defences. The ordinary 
corner turrets, such as those at Guildford or the Tower of London, are not flanking defences at all, but 
merely devices to strengthen the angles of the keep utilized for stairs or chambers. The flat pilasters 
which run up the face of most Norman keeps are merely structural features. But so far as the angle 

1 S. A. 0., xv., 16— 20. 2 S. A. C, xv., 21—25. 


Scale of Feet 

plan of the keep. 

Reproduced from the "Victoria County History of Surrey," vol. iv, 255, 
by kind permission of Messrs. Constable & Co., Ltd. 

Prom "Manning and Bray," ii, 803. 



turrets can be still traced they project considerably, for the size of the whole tower, and on the east and 
west faces there seem to have been solid projections with a much bolder profile than mere strengthening 
pilasters have, and from the top of those the bottom of the wall could be covered with stones or arrows. 
To compare a much greater and better preserved instance, these projections may be likened to the bold 
buttresses which rise round the tower of Conigsborough, an erection of probably 1163 — 1202, the time of 
Earl Hameline de "Warenne, but certainly late Norman. Between two of these projections on the west 
side is a round-headed arch, which may be the doorway, not covered by any fore-building. In the 
original state of the keep it would have been well above the ground level, but is too wide to be a window 
placed so low. I can advance nothing except conjecture founded upon these appearances, but from them 
I should rather suppose that the keep was built by Earl Eoger of Clare and Hertford, 1152 — 1173, 1 or 
even by Eichard, 1173 — 1217, the Earl of Gloucester of the Great Charter time. 

But apart from the question of the stone keep, the date of the earthworks remains to be determined. 
The majority of castles in England built before or in the forty years after the Norman Conquest 
consisted of earthworks, banks and ditches, or mounds and ditches, palisaded and enclosing timber dwellings. 
The greater part of the inhabitants or garrison of such a castle as Blechingley would commonly be 
quartered in probably timber buildings inside the two wards. The keep when existing was the citadel, 
with no doubt the hall of state, the storeroom in the basement, often a small chapel, and a few rooms 
inside it, but it was not adapted for a large number of people in permanent occupation. 

But the whole art of building stone castles of any kind was only recently introduced in Normandy 
itself when the Normans conquered England. The castles of Britanny shewn in the Bayeux tapestry 
are timbered mounds. 

Often English, Danes and Normans availed themselves of previously existing earthworks, and raised 
their mounds or planted their palisades within or upon Roman or British fortifications. But we may say 
of Blechingley that there is no trace of the central mound, the Burh, which is characteristic of early 
Norman 2 strongholds, like Tamworth, or Arundel or Guildford. Also the shape of the ditches is entirely 
unlike Roman earthworks, and not like the ordinary British earthworks either. The latter usually form 
two or three concentric rings, enclosing the summit of a hill, like Ansticbury or Cissbury. It would seem 
likely that the fortifications are entirely Norman in origin. The keep would no doubt be completed last, 
but whether the original design included the keep or not, there are no means of judging. The ditches with 
banks and palisades or walls within them would have formed a defensive position without the keep. But 
a keep seldom or never existed without such outworks round it. 

The brief inglorious history of the castle ended with its capture and dismantling in 1264 ; it 
was probably never repaired, sharing thenceforth the usual fate of neglected buildings as a quarry 
for newer ones, and perhaps being especially drawn upon at the perpendicular rebuilding of Blech- 
ingley church in 1451. 

The account of the castle leads naturally to an account of those who owned it, and though it 
wanders far from Blechingley into the wide field of English history, where the great family of 
de Clare for generations played a foremost part, an attempt shall be made to give their story so far 
as it can be gathered, chiefly from contemporary authorities. 

1 Earl Roger breaks the sequence of Gilberts and Rich- 2 Mr. Maiden wrote" early English strongholds" in 

ards. But he succeeded his brother Gilbert, and was the son 1900, but in view of the doubt cast on the existence of pre- 

of a Richard and the father of a Richard. Conquest mounds would now prefer this safer statement ; 

" without prejudice," however. 




I. — The earlier generations to the death of the 2nd earl of Hertford in 1173. 

I. Richard Fitz-Gilbeet or de Bienfaite (de Benefacta), called Richard de Tonbridge in Domesday 
Book, and later de Clare, 1 the first Norman lord of Civenton and Blachingelie, and his brother 
Baldwin, also of course Fitz-Gilbert, known as de Meulles (de Molis), and later as of Exeter, or 
" The sheriff," accompanied their cousin, the Conqueror, to England. They appear last in the list 
of thirteen whom Orderic Vitalis specially names as standing foremost in the ranks of the laity. 

They were sons of Gislebert or Gilbert, called Crespin, Count of Brionne, 2 whose father was 
Count Godfrey or Geoffrey, eldest son of Richard the Fearless, duke of Normandy, and Gunnor, 
the Danish lady whom he seems to have tardily married in order to legitimise his children. 3 
Richard the Fearless, who gave Brionne to his son Godfrey, was the Conqueror's great-grandfather 
also, but probably by a first wife, so that Richard and Baldwin were second cousins by the half 
blood to William the Conqueror, who was himself a bastard. King William had an especial regard 
for them, both on account of this relationship and of their own valour, and enriched them with 
many manors. 4 

Richard was lord of Bienfaite and Orbec, Baldwin of Le Sap and Meulles. 5 Baldwin received 
from the Conqueror great estates in the west country and left three sons, two of whom succeeded 
their father in the hereditary shrievalty of Devon. Richard took his names de Clare and de 
Tonbridge from his two strongholds in Suffolk and Kent. 

Clare lies on the southern edge of Suffolk, separated only by the river Stour from Essex. The 
Norman castle, built perhaps on the site of older defensive works, consisted of considerable earth 
works embracing some twenty acres (within which the railway station now stands), and a conical 
mound fifty feet high on which the keep was afterwards built. The mound itself was Richard's 
work, either wholly, or enlarged from older works, and it was no doubt defended in his day with 
timber stockading, for the stone keep, an embattled cylindrical building with fourteen buttresses, of 
which but a fragment remains, is of later date than his day. Part of a ruined curtain wall of yet 
later construction still stands, and above the doorway in it, which for one penny gives admission 
to the curious, may still be seen a scutcheon with the three chevrons of the de Clares. 6 

Clare was the head of Richard's great "Honour;" he held 95 manors in the eastern counties, 
and it was as de Clares that his descendants were numbered among the richest and most powerful 
nobles of England. In Surrey he was the largest lay landholder and held no fewer than 38 manors 
in the county. Tonbridge he received from the king in exchange for his Norman patrimony of 
Brionne, and the remains of his great castle are still to be seen there. 

The great motte or castle-mound here is very early work, and as Roman coins of the fourth 
century have been found in its base it almost certainly dates back to British days. Richard's 

1 Ho is once entered as Ric. de Clare in the Suffolk " Invasiones," Domesday II., 448 a. (D.N.B.). Cf. also Dr. Round's 
article in "Arch. Journ.," LVI. (1899), 225. 

: Gilbert was a witness to the foundation Charter of the Abbey of Bee in 1034, which his vassal Ilerluin or llellouin founded. 
D.N.B. Dugdale, Mon., VI., 1067. 

3 Freeman's " Norman Conquest," I., 179, and Appendix, note x., II., 612. ' Ord. Vit., II., 493. 

" St. Martin de Bienfaite and Orbec-en-Auge, in Calvados to-day. Meulles is in Calvados and Le Sap in Orme. 

'' The de Clare arms wore: Or, three chevrons yules. Matt. P. twice figures them in the margin of his MS., III., 200; IV., 419. 

^etugree of t()e jfamtlp of Be Clare. 

===RICHARD I. the Fearless, Duke of Norm 
Richard II. tie Good, died 1026. 

. (died 996) =j=Guunora, 

Count Godfrey d'Eu et do Briouuo. 

*OBborno do Bolebcc=pAvelinc, sister of Guunora, 
: duchess of Nortuaudy. 

Walter Giffard=pAgues, dau. of Gerald Flaitel. 

Harlotta=pEobcrt the Devil, died 1035. 

Gilbert Crispin, Count de Brioune, Benefactor of Bee, murdered 1040.- 

Wnlter Giffard, Earl of Buckingha 
10 . .—108.1 

i 1068 ;-r-Ermengarde, dau. of Gerard Flaitel, 
I and sister of Bo, of Evreux. 

WILLIAM the Conqueror,===Matilda, of 
mar. 1053. I Flanders. 

or de Bienfaite or FitzGilberfc, 
10 . .—1090. 

I I 

Walter Giffard, E. of William Giffard, Chancellor to 

Buckingham, 10..- William Butus; Bp. of Win- 

1102. Chester 1107; 10..— 1128. 

BALDWIN, of Exeter, Sheriff=pl. Albreda, a cousin or= 
(of Devon), lord of Le Sap and niece of William the 
Meulles ; Benefactor to Bee. Conqueror. 

Robert, 5th son, Dapifer to Hen. I.=Matildn, dan. of Simon 

anil Stephen. Held Baynard's Castle 
in 1111 i bur. at St. Neots 

St. Liz (Senlizl. E. of 
Huntingdon (died 
1153) ; —1140. 

Roger, 2nd son, Lord of 
Orbec and Bienfaite, 
Benefactor to Bee ; 
o.s.p., c. 1130. 

2. Margaret de: 
Bohun, widow 
of Henry de 
Oille (died 
1163); living 
in 1200. 

= Walter, d 

H.-gi, 1 

ipifer=l. Matilda de 

.— of Diss, Norf. 

of Godfrey d 

Lucy, Bp. of 

ton; 11..- 1 


Matilda or 
called "de 
Senliz," liv- 
ing in 11S5; 

" Brito,' 

Walter, 3rd son, 
founded Tinteru 
Abbey, o.s.p. 

Walter, of 

Richard, 41 h sou, 
a monk of Bee, 
Abbot of Ely; 
died 1107. 

n ijnln 

Godfrey, died 
inf.; bur. at 

II. GILBERT, TADELIZA, dau. A daughtcr^Ralph dc 
of Hugh, Count Telgers. 

do Clermont. 

Adeli/.n. (lied at ton lln ns 

10 . . — U38=p Walter Tirol, Lord of P 
Hugh Tirol, Lord of Poi 

Benefactor of Bi 

Kohaise, died 1121 ; bur. at Bec=pEudo Dapifer, 
died 1120. 
Crusader 1147. 

J. . I [ 1 

William, Sheriff of Robert, held Brionne against Richard, Sheriff of Devon Three 
Devon 1096. Kobort of Normandy 1090. 1129 ; died 1136. daus. 

Benefactors to Bee. 

Baldwin, taken at Lincoln 1141. 

Margaret, born=rWilliamde 
c. 1115; alive I Montfiebet 



Robert l 







Walter FitzBobert. 

M»tilda,=William de 
1162— Livetot. 


William de=Maud 

Albini II., widow 

created Koger, 

E. of SusBex 2nd E. of 

1177; mar. Hertford. 

dau. a 


Hugh AVac, who had 
with her the Barony 
of Bourue, Lines. 

The Wakes of Northanis. 

I I 

died 1203. 

(Ancestor, II.. 110—13.) 

Richard de M., 
Charter B: 
1 of the XXV 
o.s.p. 120S. 

Adeliza=j= William 
' de Ton- de Percy. 
)ridge." | 


killed in Wales Kiuiulph de 
April 15, 1 136. McBchines, 4tli 

Earl of Chester. 

Bohaise=Baderon de 
died 1170? 

Gilbert, Earl of=Elizabeth, dau. of Bobert 

created 1138 ; 

de Beaumont, Earl 
Mellent, 2nd Earl 

Adeiiza (Alic 

0=f=Aubrey de Vere I., 
Chamberlain 1133; 
died 1141. 


IV. a. GILBERT, IV. b- ROGER.-MATILDA, dau. =2. Willis 

1st Earl 
ford 1141 ; 

2nd Earl of 
j.p. Hertford ; 

MoNTFICUKT. — Gules, thri 
chevrons or. 

of Jai 
Hillary ; founded 
Preccptory at Gt. 
Carbrooke, Nor- 
folk, and waB 
buried there. 

(died 1222), 
son of Wm. 
do Albini, 
Earl of 

Bichard, of Sahain 
Tony, witnessed 
Roger's grant of 
Blechingley Ch. to 
Lewes Priory and 
gift to Tonbridge ; 
o.s.p. on crusade 
1190 at Acre. 

ap Griffith 
ap Conan, 
prince of 
N. Wales. 

Bichard, ol'i=Eva, dau. 

(William de Mamleville. 

Strigul, Earl 
of Pembroke, 
11.. -1176. 

of Dermod. 
King of 

I I I 

Aubrev do Vere IL, Rohese. died =pGeoffrey de Mandevillo 

Col., created E. of 1207. Esses, died 1144. 

Oxford c. 1142. 

Geoffrey de M., 2nd E. of 
Essex, died 1160. 

William de M„ 3rd E. 
Essex, died 1189. 

Eitz Waiter.— Or, a fess 
between two chevrons gules. 

Robert Fit: Walter of Woodliam 
Walter and Dunmow, Essex, 

1. John de=j=Alicc Daininartin, dau. and la 
Wautou. founder of Taudridge Priory, 

I I 

John. Gilbert. 

i- of Odo Dainraartin,==2. Soger. Held lauds 
at Middleton, etc., in 
Norfolk ; o.s.p. 1241 ; 
? bur. at Gt. Car- 


3rd E. of Hertford, 
Charter Baron, mar. 
before 1188; di 

William,' E. of 
Gloucester (who 
died 1183) ; died 

ived by miracles of 
I 1109— 

.Tames, died 25/5/1259. 

John [Eot. Cur. Beg. 
Palgrave, I., 337 ; 
Reg. Hamo Hetlie, 
f. 13 a; Kent Bee, 
p. 17]. 

I I 

Henry [Liberate Mabel ==Nlge] de Mowbrav, son of Roger de M„ 2nd Baron [died 12:10, Ann. Mon. D„ III., 1251. 

Bolls, 1228, 

p. 77]. I — | 

William de Mowbray, 4th Baron, died 1222=j=Agnes de Albini. Eoger, o.B.p. 

William Marshall, E. of 
Pembroke jure uxoris, 
1152?— 1219. 

Richard, murdered 
in London, Ascen- 
sion Day, May 4, 

VI. GILBERT, 4th E. of Hertford -pISABEL, died 1239 7 Ei,diard. E. of Cornwall 1209—1272 ; 
Charter Baron; Cth E. of Glouccs- 

ud 1st of his line ; mar. Oct. 
1214 ; died Oct. 25. 1230, at Penros, 
Brittany; bur. at Tewkesbury. 

. 30/3/1231 ; King of Germany. 

Henry, of Germany, murdered at Viterbo by Sin: 
Guy tie Montfort in 1271. 

William, E. Marshall, mar. 1st, 1214, Bichan 
Alice de Bethune ; 2ndly, 1224, 3rd Eai 
Eleanor, sister of Hen. III. (who o.s.p. 
remarried Simon de Montfort 1234. 
7/6/1238) ; o.B.p. 1231. 

Matilda=j=l. Hugh=2. W. de 


= Margaret, 


SybiUpWm. de Fer 

1 Bigod. Wareune. 

4th Earl, 

of Scotland, 

5th Earl, 

1 E. of Derbv 


widow of 


Bigod, Earl Marshal. 


Hubert de 


Seven daus. 

Anselin, Otli Earl, Eva=, 

o.s.p. 1245. 

: Wm. de Braose, Lord of Bn 
ami Abergavenny, 

Joan=pWariu di 

Eoger de Mowbray II., Nig 
died 1266. o.b.i 

Baldwin de Rivers, = A iniee, born 
E. of Devon (1240); May27, 1220; 
? 1219— 1244. mar. 1220; 


- i 

1. Isabella, dnu.=Tliomas, crusader- 
of Maurice in 1268 ; Clare 

Fity. Maurice. County called 

after him ; died 
in Ireland 12S7. 



William, born 

May 1 X, 1 22S ; 
o.s.p. poisoned 


dau. of Hubert ford, 7th (2nd de di 

de Burgh ; mar. eester ; born An; 

1230; 1221— July 13,1262. 

de Lacy, E. of Lincoln ; mar. 
■Ian. 26, 1238; living 1288. 
[Reg. Peckham, 38, p. 77.] 

Gilbert, born Sept. 13, 1229; 
? godfather of Sir Nicholas 
de Clare at Dunstable 
Tournament in 1308. 

Isabel, born Nov. 6, 1226 ; mar. May 1240=j=Eobert de Bruce VI., the Competitor, 1210—1295 
Robert de Bruce VII., 1253—1304; mar., ? 1274=j=Mavjory, Countess of Carrick, 12 . .—1292. 

I I 
William de Muntchensi. Joan=pWilliam de Valence, created E. of Pembroke. Bose, or Rovsia dc On 
I sister of the Red earl.S 

I I 

Aymer de V., 2nd E. of Pembroke, o.s.p. Isabel =.Tohn, Lord Hastings. 

rEoger de M. III., 7th Baron, died 1298. 

John de M., 8th Baron, 1286—1322; mar. 1298 = Alice do Brewose. 

Gilbert. boru=Isabel, living 
Feb. 3. 1281, 1331 (P. B., 
o.s.p. 1307. 193). 

2. Juliana 
(P. R„ 1284 
120); living 
1291 (P. B., 

Edmund Plantagenet—Margaret. born William: 
E.of Cornwall, son of 1250 ; mar. de Ponte- 

Richnnl of Germany 6/10/1272, ferato. 

and Sancliia of Pro- died 1316, B.p. 
veuce; 1250—1300. 

= Isabel, eldest 
child, born 
May 1240 ; 
mar. June 

! ALICE, dan. of Hugh le Brun.^VIII. GILBERT, the Bed 
sou of Hugh X. of Lusignau and Earl. Cth E. of Hertford, Nth 
Aiigciuleme, and Isabel, widow (3rd I de Clare) E. of Grloueesler ; 
of King John and mother of born Sept. 2, 1243 ; died Dec. 7, 
Henry III.; mar. 1253; divorced ! 1295. 


2 JOAN OF ACRE,- Ralph do Bevis or Bovo, Bozo, BOGO, Bonus, Rector Roys or 

dau. of Edward I., born Monther- of Botherfield, Fordingbridge, etc.. Dean of Robert, 

at Acre 1272 ; mar. mer, mar. Stafford, Treasurer of York and a Papal born 

April 23, 1290 ; died | 1296. Chaplain ; born July 21. 1243 ; died Oct. 26, Oct. 17, 

Oct. 1307. /js 1204 or 5. 1252. 

Bose, born at=pHoger de Mowbray III., 

Llantrisan | died 1297. 


Eglantine, born and died at 
Tewkesbury 1257. 

Robert de Bruce VIII., E. of Carrick, King of= 
Scotland; victor of Bannockburn; 1274—1319. 

Marjory. Je qua the Stewarts. 

1. Isabella, dau. of=p2. Elizabeth dc Burgh, 
Donald, E. of Mar. dau. of E. of Ulster. 

David Bruce, David II. of Scotland, 
o.s.p., 1324—1371. 

Bichard, Steward=p.Toan, Maud, 

of Essex forest, 
dead in 1318 
(P. B., 166). 

died Nov. 3, 1295 

1318. died before 

1. Eobert=2. Bobert 
deClif- deWell, 
ford. in Ire- 



M;ircsret==Bart. de Badles 
mere, lord 
Leeds Castle 
I decap, 1322. 


=.Ioan=2. G. 


1 Duncan, 
Earl of Fife 

Duncan, Earl of Fife 

bom 1289. 

ase 1. Maurice de=Isabella, born=2. tGuy deBeauehamp, 

died April 4, 

March 10, 
1262 ; living 
Feb. 1315 
(C. E., 213). 

E. of Warwick, hci 
in, 1270—1315 

IX. GILBERT, 7th E. of Heit-^MATJD, dan. 
ford, 9th (4th de Clare) E. of | of Bichard 
Gloucester, Keeper of the Realm; , de Burgh, 
born May 16, 1291; inar. Sept. 29, ' 2nd Earl of 
1308 ; killed at Bannockburn ' Ulster, 
June 24, 1314. 129 .—13 . . 

Eleanor, born 1292 
mar. 1306 ; mar. 
2ndly William de 
la Zouch of Aslibv, 
died 1336; died c. 

;==1. Hugh le 
. i Dispenser, 

the younger, 


Nov. 14, 


Margaret,= 1. Pi 
bom 1293 ; Gaves 
mar. 1307 ; decap. 
died 1343. 1312. 

2. Hugh d'Audelev, the 
younger, mar. 1317 ; 
created E. of Glou- 
cester in 1337; 12. . 
—Nov. 1347. 

Thomas, Steward ,,f Essex— Isabella, living 
Forest, o.s.p. 1321-2 1327 (P. B,, 
(C. B., 439). 146). 

Bobert de Clifford, 
living 1344. 

Elizabeth,{=pl. EduTund==2. W. de Bohuu, E. of 

1312—56. i Mortimer. 


Giles de=Eliz. Montacute, 
Badlesniere, dau. of E. of 
born 1312; Salisbury, 
died 1338, 


Margaret, = 1. Juhn = 2. John de Vere, 
1315—. Tiptoft. E. of Oxford, 
died 1360. 

John, born at Llaudaff 
April 3, 1312; died 

Hugh,— Elizabeth Montacute, dau. of Edward, 
1306-49, E.of Salisbury, and widowof 1342. 
o.B.p. Giles de Badlesniere. 

Margaret d'Audley,==EaIph de Stafford, born ? 1299; 


? 1340 ; died before 


pcatcd E. of Stafford March 
1351; KG. at founding 1348; 
died Aug. 31, 1372. 

Elizabeth, Ladv of Clare, born=f=l. John 
1294; mar. 1308; mar. 2ndly, Burgh, 
1312, Theobald de Verdun, 12 . '.— 
J24S— 1316; 3rdly, 1318, 1311. 
Roger d'Amory, 12 . . — 1322 ; 
died Oct. 1360. 

i de Burgh,=j=Maude, dau and=Sir Ralph 

3rd Earl of Ulster, 
died 6/6/1333. 

D'Audley. — Qr,frettc gu 

of Henry 
Dukes of Lan- 

Ld. J. of 

Phllippn, dau. of Win. Montacute, E of Salisbury , Roger Mortimer, E 
(A.) Edmund Mortimer, 3rd E. 

>f March. Humphrey de Bohun, E. of Hereford, Essex and Northauts=j=Joan, dau. of Bichard, E. of Arundel, 

of March=Philippa Plantagonet. (A.) Eleanor, died 1399=Thos., of Woodstock, Otli 

2. Sir Wm. Bourchier, Count of Eu, Ld., E.G., died 1474=p(B.) Ann=l. Edmund, 5th E. of Stafford. (BO 

f Edward II f., Duke of Gloucester 

Edward le D„ K.G. 1357 ; died 1375.=EIizabeth, dau. of ] 
Kneeling mon. at TewkeBbury. Ld. Burghersli, jr. 

Edward, E. of Gloucester 1398 ; 
ex. 1400. 


Hugh, 2nd E. of: 
Slall'ord, born 
1342 ; died at 
Rhodes Sept. 26, 

:Philippa, dau. 
of Thos. Beau- 
champ, E. of 
Warwick ; 
died 1384? 

Elizabeth. born=pLionel, Bon of Edward III.,=Violantc, dau. 

1332 ; 
1352; died 
1362; bur. 

Duke of Clarence and E. of Galoazzo 
of Ulster; born 1338 ; died Visconti, lord 
at Alba 1368. of Pavia; mar, 


Sir John Bourchier, 4th son, called Bourchier— Margery, widow of J. Fei 
de Berners, and summoned as a baron 1472 ; Sir Richard BemerB of 
K.G. ; died 1474. Lord Berners ; died 1475, 

riby ; dau. and heir of 
West Horsley, called 

Ralph, eldest son, o.s.p. ; 
murdered by Sir John 
Holland in 1385. 

Thomas, 3rd Earl, born=Anne, dau. of Thos., of Woodstock, 
1369 ; died July 2. Duke of Gloucester. She being 
1392 ; o.s.p. a child. 

William, 4th Earl, a minor, 
born 137 .; died April 6, 
1395; o.s.p. 

(B.) Edmund, 5th Earl, born=j=Anne, of Wood- Sir Hugh, 5th 

March 2, 1378; killed at 
Shrewsbury July 21, 1408. 

stock. (B) 

Lord Bourchier, 
Oct. 28, 1420. 

ealled= Elizabeth Bo' 
o.s.p. dau. and I 

(A) Philippa. Ladv of Clare,==(A0 Edmund Mortimer, 3rd E. of March, 13 . .—1380. 
Countess of Ulster, 13 . .— | 
1382; bur. at Cork. | 

Roger, 4th E. of March, killed 1398. 

Humphrey, Otli Earl, bom Aug. 15, 1402 ; Capt. of Calais 1442 ; created Duke of Buckingham 1444 ; Warden of Cinque Ports 1450 ; killed at battle of Northampton July 10, 1460=;= Ann, dau. of Ralph Novill, Earl of Westmoreland. Ann, died 1433.=Edinund, 

5th E. of March, died 1125, 

Ann=pRichard, Earl of Cambridge, executed 1415. 

Humphrey, killed at battle of St. Albans May 22, 1455=pMargaret, dou. and coheir of Edmund, Duke of Somerset. John, created Earl of Wilts. 

Henry, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, 1454 ? — 1483 ; executed and attainted=p Catherine, Bister and coheir of Richard Widville, Earl Bi* 

i of Elizabeth, Queen of Edward IV. 

Bichard, of York, killed at Wakefield 1460. 


Edward, 3rd Duke of Buokingha 

, restored ; beheaded May 17, 1521, and attainted ; 1473— 1521=rEleanor, dau. of Henry, E. of Northumberland. 

Henry, restored 1547 aa Baron Stafford=rUraula, dau. of Sir Bichard Pole. 

s from Buckler MSS. j U.M., Add. MSS. a7, 111. 

t Dispensation at tiline's Request to Guy, son of Win. de Bcaucli.inlp. lvurl of Warwick, snd Isabollu, dau. of Gilbert, E. of Glouc, lo remain in marriage contracted, though 4th cousins and offspring to lie legitimate. Pap. lte.c. 1207 (570). 
loniplotcd contract. 1). N. b\ records oo wife of Guy, and in 1315 Roger de .Mortimer ooed £800 lo " Isabellu, duu. of Gilbert dc C, lalo E. of Glouc. 1 ' [C. It., 1316 (213)], which reads oddly if silo was Countess of Wurwiek. 

s the ouly notice of their marriage, so perhaps it wai 

THE DE CLARES, 1066— 1136. 43 

Tonbridge castle probably consisted also of timber stockading 1 , only with additional earth-works, 
though as Tonbridge was of such importance as to give him his most usual surname, it is possible 
that lie built a stone keep. William de Jumieges tells how a league was measured round Brionne 
with a rope, and the same rope being brought over to England was used to measure the league 
round Tonbridge, thus ensuring to Richard as much land at Tonbridge as he gave up at Brionne. 

Richard was appointed joint justiciar with William de Warenne in 1073 during the king's 
absence in Normandy, and he played a large part in suppressing the barons' rebellion in 1075 
headed by Roger de Breteuil, earl of Hereford, and Ralph de Gruader, who was earl of East Anglia. 
He and de Warenne won a great victory in Norfolk, and, Orderic Vitalis says, marked every 
prisoner they took by cutting off his right foot. 1 On William's death, however, in 1087, Richard 
supported Bishop Odo in his efforts to place Robert Curthose on the throne instead of William 
Rufus. Odo collected a large number of Norman barons and much treasure at Rochester, and 
Richard's son Gilbert held Tonbridge Castle in his favour, while at Norwich their party under 
Roger Bigod, and other barons in the Midlands, raised the standard of revolt. But William, who 
was no mean leader, hurried over from France to secure his inheritance ere his father had well 
breathed his last ; and by promises and threats of branding all who failed to join him as 
"nidering" and outlaw, soon collected a large force of English, who were in dread of the 
success of the grasping Norman barons. 2 He marched across Kent, and laying siege to Tonbridge 
in Easter week, stormed it in two days ; young de Clare himself being wounded and taken prisoner. 
Orderic says Roger de Clare was with his brother, and that they yielded at the first assault. Odo 
on hearing of the fall of Tonbridge fled to Pevensey, where the king besieged him, and finally 
compelled him to yield, when he was banished from England for life, while Richard soon made his 
peace with William Rufus. 3 Later Richard received a grant of land in Cardiganshire and perhaps 
elsewhere in Wales, probably on the footing that he should keep as much as he could conquer. 

How Richard died is not known ; it is more than possible that he was killed in Wales, but in 
the confusion of the alternating de Clare names of Richard and Gilbert, the story of the ambuscade 
in which his grandson Richard fell in 1136 has been told of Richard de Tonbridge also, by no less 
an authority than Dugdale. 4 The uncertainty of dates in these early times is great, but the year 
of his death seems to be fixed as 1090 by Orderic's tale of the vision of a priest called Walkelin in 
1091, when, among others, he saw Richard and Baldwin, sons of Count Gilbert, then lately dead, 
suffering the torments of purgatory. 3 Richard's body was taken to Huntingdonshire and buried at 
St. Neot's. His wife, Rohaise, daughter of Walter Giffard, earl of Buckingham, appears in 
Domesday as holding Stanelowe in Herts and Ernulfsburie (now Eynesbury, a hamlet of St. Neot's) 
in Huntingdonshire ; and in 1113 she gave the whole manor of St. Neot's to the Benedictine monks 
of Bee in Normandy, for the health of the souls of Henry I. and Maud his wife, of William the 
Conqueror and his wife Matilda, and of her own husband Richard and all their children, her sons 
joining in confirmation of the grant. She was consequently reputed the second founder of the 
monastery of St. Neot's, which remained an alien priory, taken over periodically by the king at 
times of war with France, 6 until relieved from foreign jurisdiction by Henry IV. in 1409, when that 
king received 300 marks for the favour. 7 Thenceforth only Englishmen could be priors, the 
convent being made denizen, and the monks undertook to say service on behalf of the king and the 
patron, who was then Humphrey, earl of Stafford, and later duke of Buckingham, a lineal 
descendant of the de Clares. 

Richard himself was also a benefactor of the Abbey of Bee, to which he gave the manor of 

1 Orderic Vit. (Bohn), II., 81. * Walt. Cov., I., 101-2. was in the king's hands and restored as early as 1244, six 

:i Henry of Huntingdon. Hist. Augloruna, R.S., 214-5. years before Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hert- 

4 Bar., I., 207. s Ord. Vit., II., 514-15. ford, confirmed this gift of his great-great-great-great-grand- 

6 Dug. Bar., I., 207, and Mon., III., 463 and 473 xi. It mother in 1250. ' P. R., May 14, 1409 (76). 

G 2 


Totinge and Estreham (Tooting and Streatham) in Brixton Hundred, which subsequently became 
united as the manor of Tooting Bee (D.B. Surrey, xix., Totinges). The chief English cell of this 
abbey of Bee was at Okebourne or Ogbourne in Wiltshire, which, as will be seen later, had a lien 
on Blechingley Church. Tooting seems to be treated sometimes as a separate alien priory and 
sometimes as a cell to Okebourne. 1 

By Rohaise, through whom in a later generation great Giffard estates came to the de Clares, 
Richard left five sons and two daughters. Rohaise herself died a widow. 2 

Of Richard's sons, the second son Roger had his Norman estates and was generally called 
de Bienfaite (de Benefacta) like his father, though in 1080 he witnessed a grant to the abbey of 
St. Evreul as Roger de Clare. 3 He supported Robert Curthose against William Rufus in 1088, 
as already seen ; later he accompanied Maud, Henry I.'s daughter, with a great retinue to Germany 
on the occasion of her marriage with the Emperor Henry, and he fought with Henry I. against the 
French. He died without issue. 

Walter, the third son, had leave to hold what he could take in Wales, and possessed himself 
of all Nether Gwent. He founded the famous Cistercian Abbey of Tintern in 1131 4 and died 
without issue, probably in 1138. 

Richard, the fourth son, was a monk of Bee and the last abbot of Ely before the abbey was 
erected into a bishopric. This was largely due to his efforts, and he would probably have been 
the first bishop had he survived, but he died in 1107. 5 

Robert, the fifth son, married Maud, daughter of Simon St. Liz, earl of Huntingdon ; he was 
granted the forfeited fief of Baynards in East Anglia, and through his son Walter was founder of 
the house of Fitz Walter (extinct in 1432), whose most famous member was Robert, leader of the 
Charter barons in 1215. G This branch was called " Clarreaus," i.e., little Clares or Clare cadets; 
and it is noticeable that when coat-armour was adopted the Fitz Walter and de Clare arms were 
almost the same, though very clearly differentiated ; the former being or, a fess between two 
chevrons gules, as against or, three chevrons gules. The Daventrys of Daveutry and Fawsleys of 
Fawsley (extinct in 1330 and 1392), according to Dugdale, were offshoots from the Fitz Walters. 

Of Richard's two daughters, Rohese married Eudo Dapifer and Adeliza Walter Tyrrel, lord of 
Poix, of ill-omened fame. 7 

II. The eldest son Gilbert succeeded to his father's English estates. How he tried to hold 
Tonbridge for him against William Rufus in 1087-8 has been already told; and he also joined 
Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, in his rebellion against the king about 1095, when 
he again held Tonbridge Castle. The story goes, however, that knowing the king to be ambuscaded 
by the rebels and advancing to certain death he repented, and having warned him of the danger, 
obtained pardon. 8 De Mowbray was eventually taken prisoner at his stronghold of Bamburgh and 
seems to have ended his life in prison. Gilbert, however, was restored to favour, and, according to 
the almost contemporary Norman-French rhyming chronicle of Geoffrey Gaimar, both he and his 
brother Roger were of the king's hunting party, when their brother-in-law Walter Tyrrel was said 
to have drawn his fatal bow, and they helped to carry the royal corpse to Winchester.' J 

1 Dug. Mon., VI., 1053. V. C. II., I., 315. 7 See Round. " Feudal England," p. 470, seq. and pedigree. 

2 Dr. Eound has disproved Dugdale's statement (Bar. I., 8 Ord. Vit., III., 18. 

207 b) that she remarried Eudo Dapifer. Her daughter 9 Lestorie des Engles, It. S., I., 6351-4. Where it is 

Rohaise was Eudo's wife. See below. noticeable, however, that the lines 6352-3, which call Gilbert 

3 Ord. Vit., V., 180. earl, appear in only one of the four MSS. of Gaimar extant, 

4 Dug. Mon., V., 265. and are no doubt a later insertion. Ordonc also says they 
' Ely. Bell's Cathedral Series, pp. 14, 15. wore there. 

* Robert Fitz Walter also enjoys the reputation of being Li fitz Richard erent li dui, 

the founder of the celebrated gift of the flitch al Jhnimow, Quens Gilobert e dan Roger 

whore recent excavations iu the l'riory ruins have perhaps Oil furent preise ohevaler, 

discovered his plundered tomb. E. Gilbert del Eglo od els. 


Gilbert gave the church of St. John the Baptist in the castle at Clare, together with the seven 
prebends existing there from the days of Edward the Confessor, with much land, tithe3 and other 
churches in Norfolk and Suffolk, to the monks of Bee for the souls of his father and mother, and 
of his brother Godfrey, who was buried at Clare. 1 Godfrey probably died quite young, for there 
seems to be no other record of him. 

He also confirmed to the monks of Thorney in Cambridgeshire, lands in Luffewyk, and gave to 
the monks at Lewes a yearly rental of 20s. from the toll at Tonbridge 8 days before St. Pancras. 
To the monks of Gloucester he is said to have given the church and land of St. Patern in Wales, 
with the tithes of his lordship and castle of Penwedich, 2 but this was probably done by his son 

Like his father he had a grant of land in Cardiganshire given him by Henry I. ; he fought in 
Wales and won Cardigan from Cadogan in llll, 3 and perhaps like his father found his death there. 
He was generally known as Gilbert FitzRichard, the name de Clare, although used, not yet being 
established as a surname. 

His wife was Adeliza or Alice, daughter of the earl of Clermont, who gave to the Knights 
Hospitallers the preceptory of Melcheburne in Bedfordshire with the churches of Dene and Hargrave 
in Suffolk with that of Ristley, and lands at Sharnbroke in Bedfordshire. 4 By her he left four 
sons — Richard, Gilbert, Walter and Baldwin, and three daughters, Adeliza, Rohaise and Margaret, 
when he died probably in 1115. The Welsh record, however, says he died in 1117. 

II. (2). Of these four sons, the second, Gilbert, inherited the possessions of his two childless 
uncles Roger and Walter. This gave him Nether Gwent. He further had a grant of such lands in 
Wales as he could win, and was most successful in his military operations. He built two castles, one 
near the seashore close to Llanbadarn in Cardiganshire, and the other at Dingeraint (later called 
Cardigan), where Roger de Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury, had before begun to build. 
He conquered also the land of Strigul (which is Chepstow), with half of Grum, and was made earl 
of Pembroke by king Stephen in 1138. Later on he rebelled against Stephen, and helped his 
nephew Gilbert to hold his castles for the Empress Maud. He gave Weston Church in Bedfordshire, 
with lands of £10 yearly value, to the Knights Templars, who built thereon a town called Baudac 
(Baldock in Hertfordshire), later much enriched by privileges from the king. 5 He married 
Elizabeth, sister of Waleran, earl of Mellent, and dying in 1148 was buried at Tintern Abbey. He 
left one son Richard. 

(2) a. This Richard succeeded to his earldom and Welsh estates. He was the famous 
Strongbow, and in 1153 was a witness to the compact between Henry and Stephen by which Henry 
was to succeed to the throne on Stephen's death. In 1170 the earl of Strigul, as he was often 
called from his chief Welsh residence, was invited to Ireland by Dermot, king of Leinster, to 
reduce his revolted subjects and invading neighbours. He achieved extraordinary success, seized 
Waterford and Dublin, and, completely defeating Dermot's enemies, was rewarded with the hand of 
Dermot's only daughter Eva and the inheritance of the kingdom of Leinster. Henry II., alarmed 
at the sudden growth of what looked like a new Norman kingdom in Ireland, hurried over with 
a large force, and ultimately Strongbow did him homage for Leinster, and for the first time English 
rule was set up in Ireland. The earl died in 1176 and his only child Isabel was married to William 

1 The priory of Clare had been founded by earl Aluric * Dug. Bar., I., 208 a. 

or Elfric in the days of Canute and the monks had founded 5 Baldock is a place of small importance nowadays, and 

the church of St. John with seven secular oanons. Dug. Mon., the whole parish comprises only 2G3 acres, but it has in recent 

VI., 1052-3. years acquired a vicarious fame by being partially included in 

2 Dug. liar., I., 207 1>. the Letch worth Garden City. 

3 Ann. Cambr., 35. « Dug. Bar., I., 208 a. 


Marshall iu 1189, and so Strongbow's lands and title of earl of Pembroke passed to the Earl Marshal, 
who played so great a part in English historj'. His five sons all died childless, when his five daughters 
divided the huge estates and so brought a fifth part of them to the main line of the de Clares, as 
will be seen later. Strongbow's fame was so great that he has generally been supposed to have left 
the name of Clare to the Irish town and county, but (as will be noticed in due course) it is more 
than likely that a much later and less famous de Clare was the real eponymous hero of Clare 

II. (3) . Reverting to Gilbert's family, of his third son Walter but little is recorded. Dugdale 
seems to have confused him with his uncle Walter, the founder of Tintern. 1 He appears to have 
been a crusader in 1147, and died childless. 

II. (4). The fourth son, Baldwin, fought on Stephen's side and also in Wales. He was 
spokesman of Stephen's army at Lincoln in 1141, where he was taken prisoner by the Empress's 
men after a desperate resistance and many wounds. His wife's name is not known, but he had at 
least one daughter, Emma, who married Hugh le Wac, lord of Bourne in Lincolnshire, and thus 
became ancestress of the Wakes of Northants, and through the female line of a seventeenth-century 
benefactor of Blechingley, John Evans. 

Of Gilbert's daughters Adeliza married William de Percy, Rohaise married Baderon de Mon- 
mouth, and Margaret married William de Montfichet. 2 Montfichet's father (or uncle) had come 
with the Conqueror from Normandj r , where the castle of Montfichet stood on the road between 
St. L6 and Bayeux, but the name does not appear in Domesday Book, and probably this de Clare 
alliance was a great step up for the family. 3 In Glover's roll Montfichet bears the same coat 
as de Clare, but with the tinctures reversed (gules, three chevrons or), so quite possibly Gilbert de 
Montfichet, and Gilbert de Clare (who used a coat-armour seal iu 1148), first-cousins and close 
friends, deliberately chose their new and fashionable devices together. 

Margaret was alive in 1185, when she was returned in a list of "Ladies, boys and girls in the 
king's gift," and stated to be " over 60," Gilbert de Montfichet being her son and heir, and she 
having had three children besides him. 4 This lady, whose hand was thus still at the king's 
disposal, must have been then not merely over 60, but over 70, since her father, Gilbert de Clare, had 
died in 1115 or 1116, but it looks as if even so early a " Court Guide" concealed or dealt tenderly 
with the age of ladies. Her grandson Richard de Montfichet was a charter lord, and, with his 
second cousin Richard, earl of Hertford, one of the twenty-five sureties to coerce king John. 

III. Richard, the eldest son of Gilbert and Adeliza, succeeded to the Honour of Clare and 
his father's English estates. In 1124 he translated the Benedictine monks from the castle and 
church of Clare to the church of St. Augustine at Stoke-by-Clare, a few miles off. 5 There is 
some suggestion of violence about this removal, and possibly he had found the monks settled at the 
castle by his father Gilbert too close for his comfort, especially as he made Clare his chief seat. 
He then gave them a wood called Stoke Ho, with a doe yearly from his park at Hundon in Suffolk, 
and full power over all their tithes; also the church of Coveham in Norfolk in exchange for that 
of Denham in Suffolk, and a hermitage at his manor of Standene in Herts. He gave to the 
Knights Templars a rent from Baldock in Bedfordshire, where his brother Gilbert had already 

' Not, however, of the churoh of which we admire the 4 lloiuli do Dominabus ot pueris ot puellis de donatione 

ruins to-day, which is the "nova ecclesia," built by Roger Regis in XII comitatibus, 3] II. II., 1185, ed. S. Grimaldi 

Bigodin 1869. Sec D.N.B., Walter de Clare. 1830. Cambridgeshire, Werle Eundred. 

- Sec Round's " Feudal England," 173. s Dug. Mon., VI., 1053 (Bur., I., 210). 

1 See Planche's "Conqueror and his companions," II., iVseq. 

THE DE CLARES.— THE 1st EABL, Cr. 1141. 17 

given them property, and he also founded the Priory of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Nicholas at 
Tonbridge as a house of black Austin Canons towards the end of Henry I.'s reign. 1 

It seems to have been Bichard who fixed the family name definitely as de Clare by making 
that castle his principal residence. He is said to have been made earl of Hertford about 1135 by 
Stephen, but Dr. Bound has shewn that the earldom has been antedated. 2 

Like his father and grandfather, he too fought to increase his holdings in Wales, and being 
killed there in 113G while on his way to Cardigan, was buried at Gloucester. Giraldus Cambrensis 
tells the story how, soon after the death of Henry I., Bichard, lord of Clare and Cardigan, was 
making his way towards Abergavenny when, leaving the famous abbey of Llanthony on his left, he 
entered the pass known as the 111 way of Coed Gronwy, that is, the wood by the river Gronwy. 
Here he sent back his attendants, and against advice went on into the forest almost alone and unarmed, 
with a harper in front. The Welsh had tracked his steps, and under Jorwerth, brother of Morgan 
of Caerleon, fell suddenly upon him from ambush and killed both Bichard and most of his retainers, 
taking, says Gerald, " a most bloody spoil." 3 

His death was followed by a general rising in Wales, and his wife Alice, sister of Banulph II., 
earl of Chester, was besieged and rescued with difficulty by Miles of Gloucester. By her he left 
two sons, Gilbert and Boger, and one daughter Alice, who was married to Cadwallader ap Griffith 
ap Conan, prince of North Wales. 

IV. a. Gilbert the elder son inherited, and was created earl of Hertford by Stephen, before 
the end of the year 1141. 4 There is no authority for saying that his predecessors were styled 
earls de Clare, though Dugdale and the House of Lords Beports have said so. 5 

Gilbert, the father of Bichard de Tonbridge, was Count of Brionne, but Bichard himself was 
described simply as Bichardus Gisleberti comitis Alius in 1076 — 9, 6 as he was also in Domesday 
Book. Later he was called Bichard de Tonbridge or de Bienfaite, and once de Clare, but never 
" comes ; " nor is that title applied to a de Clare (except Strongbow, earl of Pembroke) until after 
this creation of 1141. Subsequently the head of the family was styled indifferently Comes de Clare, 
the earl de Clare, i.e., the de Clare who held that title (and sometimes Comes Clarensis, the earl 
who hailed from Clare) ; or Comes Hertfordie, earl of Hertford. More formally he was Gilbertus 
or Bicardus (as the case might be) de Clare, Comes Hertfordie, but no instance is ever found of 
the style Comes Clare (i.e., Clarse in the genitive) or Comes Clare et Hertfordie, earl of Clare, 
or earl of Clare and Hertford. Later the title became "Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and 
Hertford," the Gloucester title, as a royal and an older earldom, taking precedence of that of 
Hertford, though so much more recent in the de Clare family ; the style earl of Hertford and 
Gloucester does occur rarely, but by the time of the Bed Earl the style of " earl of Gloucester " 
had become the most usual. 

But since (as Dr. Bound has shewn) no de Clare ever was earl of Clare, it seems quite 
inaccurate to speak of the "earl of Clare " at all, although both the Dictionary of National 
Biography and the Bolls Series, as well as Doyle's Official Baronage, do so. 7 

It was only after the extinction of the male line that the name of Clare became not actually a 
title, but a sort of courtesy title, for the Lady Elizabeth de Burgo (sister and coheiress of the last 

1 Dug. Mon., VI., 393. 7 The writer pens this " with bated breath " for so daring 

2 Geof. de Mandeville, 40, 271, etc. "Arch. Cant.," to controvert authority. But after all the family name was 
XXII., 265, is an example of hopeless confusion of de Clare "de Clare," not Clare, and the title was Hertford. Lambarde, 
generations. it is true, writes of " Richard Clare, earl of Gloucester," but 

3 Gir. Cambr., VI., 47 ; cf. id. 118. these are days of greater accuracy (or should be), and it seems 

4 Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, pp. 39 and 140 — 6. as much a solecism in English to speak of the earl of Clare as 
' D.N.B., Family of de Clare, by "Dr. Round. it would be in French to say, eg., "la Gloire d'Assas " instead 
6 " Feudal England," 329 stq. of "la Gloire de dMssas." 


ile Clare, earl of Gloucester), making- Clare her chief home, was very usually styled the Lady of 
Clare, " Domina Clara?," and thus afforded the first instance found of the genitive form instead of 
the ancestral de Clare. But so hard does the "earl of Clare" myth die that she has been described 
as Countess of Clare in the " Archa?ologia " of 191 1. 1 

In Norman days an earldom implied an official i^osition as chief of a county, or even more than 
one county. Thus Bigod was earl of Norfolk including Suffolk, and was therefore earl at 
Norwich, and bad the military service of East Anglia to supervise. For this reason an earldom 
was not at first hereditary if the son was a minor or otherwise unable to discharge the duties 
of the office, and so, as will be seen, even so late as the end of the thirteenth century, 
Ralph de Monthermer enjoyed the title of earl of Gloucester until his stepson was of age to take 
it up himself. 

Earl Gilbert was constantly in rebellion, and was in fact, as became the traditional attitude of 
the de Clares, a barons' man ; whereas his powerful neighbour and rival de Warenne was a king's 
man. Indeed, it is likely that the De Warennes, whose chief lands lay in Sussex, though their 
earldom of Surrey dated from 1088, were granted more lands in Surrey, and the erection of the 
castle at Reigate was encouraged with the object of strengthening the king's influence in the 
county, in view of the great growth in power of the turbulent de Clares. 

Gilbert was for a long time a prisoner, and in 1146 he was hostage for his uncle Ranulph, earl 
of Chester. 2 But perhaps the most interesting of the few facts known about him is that in a 
confirmation of the grant of Langhani Manor in Essex to Gervase de Cornhill, the date of which 
cannot be later than 1148 (since his uncle Gilbert, earl of Pembroke, who died that year is a 
witness), earl Gilbert seals with the three chevrons, thus affording probably the earliest known 
instance of coat-armour on a seal. 3 

He gave the church of Tedeham to the monks of Lira in Normandy ; the church of Bures to 
the monks of Stoke-Clare, the church of Tonbridge to the monks of Lewes, and to the Knights 
Hospitallers the church of Standene in Hertfordshire, 4 where his father had already given them a 
hermitage, with a vineyard and 140 acres of land as well. There was also a preceptory here until 
the whole establishment was moved in 1180 to Buckland in Somersetshire. 

Gilbert died unmarried, or at least without issue, in 1153, and was buried at Clare, at the 
house founded by his grandfather Gilbert. 5 

IV. b. Roger, the younger brother, succeeded to his title and estates, and gave to the monks 
of St. Ednmndsbury £10 yearly rent in Rede and Fornham (Suffolk) for the souls of his father 
Richard and his brother Gilbert. 6 With his cousin Richard Strongbow in 1153 he witnessed 
Stephen's treaty at Westminster acknowledging Henry as his successor. 7 He, too, had leave about 
1157 to acquire lands in Wales by force of arms, and he fought and fortified castles there. 8 As 
second earl of Hertford, he had the earl's third penny for that county, worth £20 in 1156 and 
£33 Is. 6d. in 1157. 9 His wife was Maud, daughter of James de St. Hilary, and testimony is borne 
to the greatness of his position by FitzStephen, the biographer of Thomas a Becket and sheriff of 
Gloucestershire from 1171 — 1190, who says of Roger that nearly all the nobles of England were 
related to the earl de Clare, whose sister, the most beautiful woman in England, had some time 
been desired by the king. 10 

1 Mr. Hilary Jenkinson. 6 Gage's Hundred of Thingoe, 369, who cites the Reg. of 

J Le Livere des reis de Brittanie, R. S., 202 ; Dug. Bar., Stoke, f. 20, v. '' D.N.B. 

I., 210 b. 8 Lib. Rub., II., 682. 

5 Round, " Feudal England," 471 and note. '•» Pipe Rolls 1155—8, 73 and 134. 

4 Dug. Bar., 210 b. >" Fitast. Mat. Hist., III., 43. His sister was Rohaise, 

' D.N.B.(Rogerde Clare) says 1152,quoting Dugdale Bar., who married Badcron de Monmuuth (Mou. Dug., IV., 597 ; 

I., 210, but Ann. Mou. T., I., 48, and Rob. Torig. pay 1153. VI. Badero et ejus uxor Rohes). 

Gilbkbt de Clare (fitz Richard— fitz Gilisebt— fitz Richard 
de tonbeidge). 

cr. 1st earl of Hertford 1141. 

0.8. p. 1173. 

From his seal. 

Eichakd (fitz Roger) de Claee. 

3rd earl of Hertford. 

in. Amice, heiress of William, earl of Gloucester 

a Charter baron. 

d. 1217. 

Prom his seal. 

Reproduced from Doyle's "Official Baronage of England," b}' kind permission of Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co. 

THE DE CLARES.— ROGER, 2nd EARL, 115:1—73. 


His high position caused Roger to he constantly with Henry II., and as a meuiher of the 
Curia Regis his name occurs several times as a witness to royal charters from 1156 onwards. In 
1160 notahly, he was at le Mans, where the king appears to have spent Christmas while engaged in 
fortifying various Norman towns. 1 

He served with distinction on the Welsh Marches, and on one occasion is said by his opportune 
assistance to have saved Henry's life when hard pressed in a Welsh ambush. " Brilliant by name 
and still more brilliant by his warlike fame, he dashed in to raise the drooping spirits of the royal 
forces, and snatch both king and victory from the overwhelming foe." 2 Jocelin indulges in the 
very obvious play upon the name of Clare, which it seems almost strange not to meet with more 
frequently in the monkish chronicles. But Roger's campaigning in Wales was by no means always 
successful. Cardigan had been conquered by the North Welsh princes Owain and Cadwaladr after 
the death of Richard de Clare in 1136. The young Rhys ap Gruffydd in turn conquered it from 
them in 1152 but was overawed by Henry II. into surrendering it to Roger in 1158, and that year 
saw Roger's first visit to Wales. But he failed to hold the land, and in 1163-5 Rhys reconquered 
the whole of Cardigan, the castle itself falling in the latter year. Rhys moreover kept his conquests, 
acknowledging Henry's supremacy, but resuming his independence under the weaker rule of the 
much absent Richard, until his death at the age of 65 or more in 11 97. 3 

On July 22nd, 1163, Becket, 1 who had been consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on June 3rd, 
1162, 5 summoned Roger to Westminster to do him homage for his castle of Tonbridge and its 
adjacent lowey, 6 but at the persuasion of Henry II. Roger refused, alleging that it belonged rather 
to the king by military and public services than to the Archbishop. " And this fraudulent action of 
the king," says the monkish chronicler, "was the first indication of the king's hatred for the 
Archbishop." 7 This disputed overlordship of Tonbridge seems a reminder of the antiquity of 
Norman possession, now just a century old, with its details already obscured by the mists of time. 
A parallel, though not precisely similar, may be drawn from Blechingley a generation or more later, 
when in 1210 the entry appears in the Red Book of the Exchequer under the heading "De Mis 
quorum servitia ignorantur" (of those whose services are unknown), Comes de Clara, Blechinglegam. 8 
But Becket, who was just home from the Council of Tours, where he had been received with peculiar 
honour by the Pope, was now making a great effort to assert the ancient rights of the see, which 
he alleged the king to have regranted to him. 9 " And this," says the Canterbury chronicler, 
"necessarily stirred up against him the anger of many of the most powerful in the realm." 10 He 
claimed the castles of Rochester, Saltwood and Hythe from the king, besides lands from others who 
fomented Henry's ill-will against him, so that the breach between them widened as time passed 
with no settlement being arrived at. 

In January, 1164, Roger witnessed the king's recognition at the famous Council of Clarendon 11 
of the ancient customs and liberties granted by Henry I. Next January (1165), when Henry 
confiscated the see of Canterbury and drove Becket's unfortunate and innocent kindred from the 

1 Eyton's Ida. of H. II., 52. 

* Joe. Mem. of St. Edm.'s Abbey, I., 273-4. "Clarus 
genere, militari clarior exercitio." 

3 See Lloyds' " History of Wales." Giraldus Cambrensis 
gives a rather confused account of all these events, but says 
that Eoger lost the whole of Cardigan to Rhys ap Gruffydd. 
I., 67-8. 

* R. de Diceto. (Dean of London), I., 311, and Matth. 
Paris, II., 222. 

6 Capgr. de Illustr. Hen., 74. 

* Lowey, i.e., the ground comprised in the "Liberty"; 
Lambarde, " Kent," p. 383, ed. 1826, says : " Round about the 
town of Tonbridge lyeth a territory or compasse of ground 

called the Lowey, but written in the anoient records Leucata 
or Leuga and being indeed a French league of ground." In 
French banlieue, " Prsesertim quod infra leugam castro 
circumjacentem est quae vulgo bauleuga sive bannum leugse." 
Fitzstephen in Mat. Hist., III., 251. It presumably com- 
prised the ground originally measured in exchange for 

I Flor. Hist., II., 78. Cf. Matt. P., II, 222-3. 

8 Lib. Rub. de Scac, II, 561. 

9 Fitzst. Mat. Hist., Ill, 43. 

10 Gerv. Cant, I, 174. 

II Fitzst. Mat. Hist, 206. 



country, earl Roger was in all probability a consenting party, as lie was at feud with Becket himself 
and was with the king just at that date, before Henry crossed to Normandy. 1 In 1167, upon the 
levying of an aid for the marrying of Henry's daughter, he certified his knight's fees in Norfolk 
and Suffolk alone to be 131 in number, besides fractions, viz. : " two parts, ±, \, %, ±, T '-o, T \-, and 9^ 
of his wife's 2 fee, for all which he owed £60 lis. I0d." 3 This aid of £60 lis. lOd. appears year 
by year in the Pipe Roll as if still unpaid or else a yearly charge, and seems to fix the date of 
Roger's death as having occurred in 1179 (not in 1173 as generally stated), because in 1178-9 the 
earl de Clare is still entered as owing this sum for " his own and his wife's fees," while in the next 
year, 1179-80, the earl appears as owing it for "his own and his mother's fees." There appears, 
however, to be no doubt that the Pipe Roll clerk was wrong, for Richard appears elsewhere as 
earl de Clare in 1174.* 

In 1170 5 Roger was one of ten itinerant barons appointed by a great Council at Windsor 
on April 5th, with the two Abbots of St. Augustine's Canterbury, and Chertsey, for Surrey, 
Kent, Middlesex, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, to enquire into the 
administration of justice and taxation in those counties. 6 It is not to be supposed that de Clare 
had any hand in the Archbishop's murder on December 29th of that year, but Fitzstephen tells 7 how 
all the south-coast ports were guarded, and how men were drawn from the neighbouring castles of 
Dover, Rochester, Saltwood and " Blachingelee " to surround Canterbury, lest the hated Becket 
should either attempt to escape the country or to stand a siege within the precincts of his cathedral. 
So, the violence of the four brutal knights, de Brock, Reginald Pitz-Urse, Tracy and de Morville, 
would seem to have forestalled a possibly more orderly and less directly personal, but certainly 
more widely organized movement against Thomas. There can be no doubt that de Clare was on 
the king's side against the episcopal self-styled feudal lord of Tollbridge, and this mention of 
Blechingley Castle is significant. But the martyrdom effaced all memory of lesser quarrels with 
the Archbishop, while all minds quailed in horror at the thought of the holy man struck down 
almost on the steps of the altar, and of the violent king, whose hasty words had prompted, if his 
mind had not planned, the deed. 

It is interesting to notice that in the tremendous list of the blessed martyr's miracles occurs 
the case of James, a younger son of earl Roger de Clare, 8 named doubtless after his grandfather, 
James de St. Hillary. First, at the age of two, he was cured of a year-old rupture at the holy shrine 
in January, and the following Lent actually brought back to life from death on the piteous prayers 
of his mother, who, despite the objurgations of Lambert her chaplain, the countess of Warwick and 
all her friends and attendants, persisted for two hours to call loudly for the martyr's help. So 
signal a miracle deserved a signal act of thanks, and the lady, with bare feet, carried her 
blessed infant to Canterbury, attended by the countess of Warwick, the chaplain, and many 
knights and others who had been witnesses of the wondrous resuscitation. Perhaps the martyr's 
miraculous intercession for this scion of the de Clares was in the nature of coals of fire upon the 
head of his recalcitrant liegeman. Despite the miracles, however, it is not known if the sickly 
James ever grew to man's estate, though a James de Clare who died in 1259 may possibly have 
been his son or grandson. 

The year after the martyrdom Roger was with the king in Normandy, for his name occurs as 
witness to a grant made at Chevaillec near Honfleur in June, 1171, but he did not live very much 

1 Eyton Itin., 77. 5 Gerv Cant., I., 216. 

5 Lib. Rub., I., 37, and a list of names will be found 6 For the terras of the inquest, see Stubbs' Select Charters, 

ib., 403—5. pp. 147—150. 

: ' Pipe Roll Soc, U II. II., 20. 7 Fit z . Mat. Hist., III., 131, etc. 

4 Pipe Roll Soc, 25 H. II., 3, and 26 II. II., 16. 8 Told by Benedict of Peterborough in Mat. Hist,, II., 

CJ. Eyton Itin. H. II., 182. 255-7. 

THE DE CLARES.— ROGER, 2nd EARL, 1153—73. 


longer. The year 1173 is generally received as that of his death and is so given by Robert of 
Torigni, but 1174 is given in some Norman MSS. 1 

It is this Roger who is recorded in the register of the monks of Lewes as having given to them 
the church of Blechingley — a gift which appears never to have taken effect. 3 To the monks of 
Canterbury he gave a stag yearly from Tonbridge. To the monks of Llanthony in Wales, close to 
where his father Richard had fallen in 1136, lie gave one-half of the church of Bernyntone for the 
maintenance of thirteen lepers. To the monks of St. Neot's he gave the church of Barton. To 
the Knights Templars he gave the churches of Stradmurik and Testrahio with three burgages and 
100 acres of land in Cardiganshire. To the Knights Hospitallers he gave the manor of Melche- 
bourne, where his grandmother Adeliza had founded a preceptory for them, with all the soke and 
church ; also his mill at Standon in Herts, where his brother Gilbert had already given them the 
church; besides the church at Hadlow, near Tonbridge, the church of Tonbridge itself 3 (which was 
with the express consent of his son Richard), and a mill with lands at Towcester. In Northampton- 
shire he freed the Canons of Sulby of all toll, either for buying or selling in his market of Rowell. 

This market at Rowell (i.e., Rothwell, though the old spelling still shews the modern 
pronunciation), is an instance of a market regularly held on a Sunday. In 1202 the Justices in 
Eyre at Northampton were informed by the jury that Rothwell market was removed from Sunday 
to Saturday and that it belonged to the earl de Clare. " Therefore he is in mercy and let the 
market be on Monday/' At the same time the Abbot of Peterborough was "in mercy" for 
his Sunday market at Oundle, which was also removed from Sunday to Saturday, 4 so it was not only 
laymen who offended by allowing Sunday trading. There was in fact a constant struggle between 
the bishops and clergy on the one hand, trying to put down such secular pursuits on Holy days as 
well as the miscellaneous secular use of churches, against popular custom on the other hand, which 
was generally too strong for them. Of this Rothwell was a case in point, for Richard de Clare got 
leave to reopen the Sunday market by giving a palfrey to king John in 1207. 5 

On Roger's death his widow Maud gave to the monks of Godstow in Oxfordshire for the health 
of his soul one mark of silver, and half a virgate at Kidlington (Oxon) to the Abbey of Eynsham. 6 
She had also founded at Carbrooke in Norfolk a preceptory of Knights Templars, and at Little 
Carbrooke a hospital for sisters of the same order, who were, however, moved in 1180 to Buckland 
in Somerset, when Henry II. gave that monastery to the order on condition that all the sisters 
Hospitallers in England were placed there; 7 Maud also gave the preceptory of Rerewok with its 
church and two yardlands in Durecote (Hants) as well as the manor of Greenham near Newbury 
(Berks) to the Knights Hospitallers. 8 She followed the usual custom of the times, when rich women 
were not allowed to remain long without an owner, and was given by the king in marriage to 
Roger's second cousin, William de Blaiz, eldest son of William de Albini, earl of Arundel, in or 
before 1175." He was never styled earl of Arundel, but was created earl of Sussex in 1177. 1U 

1 Eyton Itiu. H. II., 158, 197, note; but cf. p. 182, whoro 
Richard earl de Clare is said to go to the king at Northampton 
on July 31st, 1174. 

3 This is dealt with fully in Chapter X. 

3 Dugdale (Bar., 210 b) does not mention Tonbridge 
church, but it is recorded in Register of Hanio Heath, f. 12, 
Kent Rec, IV., 15, and cf. f. 34 (p. 45) for the consent of 
Richard. See also Register Roff., 666. 

* Selden Soc, Select Pleas of Crown, I., 20, and Placit. 
Abbrev., 416. 

5 Rot. de Obi. et Fin., I., 378. In 1219, however, Roth- 
well market was again being held on Monday to the detriment 
of that of Market Harborough on the same day only seven 
miles off. The Northants sheriff was accordingly ordered to 

alter the day at Rothwell, but this was not done, and in 1221 
Harborough was altered to Tuesday and has been held on 
Tuesday ever since. C. R. 1219 and 1221 (406 and 485). 
See " Market Harborough Records," by Rev. J. Stocks and 
W. Bragg, 1890. 

6 Eynsham Cartulary (Oxf. Hist. Soc), I., 107. The 
grant is witnessed by her chaplain Lambert among others. 

7 Dug. Mon., VI., 801. See also p. 34. Also V. C. H. 
Norfolk, II., 423—5. 

8 Dug. Bar., 211 a. 

9 Chron. Rob. Torig., IV., 271. Cf. Pipe Roll, 1175-6, 
p. 30. His mother was Maud, granddaughter of Richard de 
Tonbridge and aunt of Robert Fitzwalter. See pedigree. 

10 Eyton Itin. H. II., 209-10. 

H 2 


II. — The earldom of Gloucester. The de Clares as Charter Lords, and to the death of the 
first earl of Gloucester and Hertford in 1230. 

V. — Roger's eldest son Richard, succeeded his father as third earl of Hertford, and by his marriage 
with Amicia, daughter and co-heiress of William earl of Gloucester, may be said to have brought 
the fortunes of his house to their highest point. In the scutage of Wales in 1191 he was assessed 
for £60 17s. llcL, and in 1196 he paid £1,000 for livery of his mother's lands and his share of the 
great Giffard inheritance, deducting what his mother and her second husband, William de Albini, 
had alienated. The Giffard inheritance came through his great-great-grandmother Rohaise (wife 
of Richard de Tonbridge) on the death of earl AValter without issue. The Fitzwalter branch, 
whose head was then Robert Fitzwalter, a great grandson only of Richard and Rohaise (for the 
Fitzwalters were a longer lived family than the de Clares), and later the famous leader of the 
Charter Barons, took no share. Why this younger branch should have been left out while the 
Pembroke branch inherited is difficult to understand, and it suggests that the pedigree may 
be wrong in tracing the Fitzwalters back to Richard and Rohaise at all. Yet the Fitzwalter arms 
are so clearly a variant of the de Clare scutcheon that it is very difficult to doubt the connection, 
and though Mr. Eyton has questioned it, Dr. Round claims to have proved it and shews it in his 
pedigree. 1 However, de Clare and his second cousin Isabel, daughter and heiress of Richard, 
earl of Pembroke, often styled earl of Strigul, but generally known as Strongbow, great-great- 
grandchildren of Richard de Tonbridge and Rohaise, seem to have been treated as the only 
representatives of the Giffards left; accordingly he and Isabel's husband, William Marshall 
earl of Pembroke in her i ight, divided the estates, when Richard obtained a grant of the chief 
English seat and William of the chief Norman seat, and Richard paid the king no less than 
£639 5s. 6d. for possession of his share. 2 De Clare's and Marshall's half of the Giffard inheritance 
in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire were each returned at 43 knights' fees in 1201 — 12. Richard 
also inherited lands from his uncle Richard the Crusader, who died at Acre in 1190, 8 paying £100 
in 1201 in order to obtain possession by writ of " Mort d'ancestor " of Sab am in Norfolk, which 
was disputed by Roger de Tonay. 4 But de Tonay subsequently recovered the manor, which is 
known as Saham Tony to this day. This property, which had valuable fisheries, apparently paid 
the Crown yearly £26 8s. 8rf. 5 

In Surrey in 1202 he paid £13 scutage for 9| knights' fees. In Kent £10 for 10 
knights' fees. 

In Norfolk and Suffolk he paid £60 lis. 10 d. (the number of fees not being stated), for the 
special aid at the king's daughter's marriage, as well apparently as £155 3s. 8d. at the first scutage 
and £189 3s. 8d. scutage and fines. In Bucks and Beds he paid £8 10s. G 

Richard and his father-in-law of Gloucester were both suspected of complicity, if not actually 
engaged, in Hugh Bigod's rebellion of 1173-4 directly after Richard succeeded to his earldom. On 
Henry II. 's dramatic penance at Canterbury however, which, as a direct sign of divine favour, was 
signalized by the defeat and capture of William the Lion, king of Scotland, in July on the very day 
of the prostration and scourging at the saint's shrine, 7 Bigod's castles of Framlingham and Bungay 

' "Feudal England." 475,575. Cf. Arcb. J..LVI. ,228-0. 6 Pipe Roll, 1189-90, 19 H. II., 118, and 20 11. II., 36; 

■ Rot. Cane, 3rd John, 152. 21 II. III., 108. 

:1 Sweden R. 8., HI., 80. Lib. Bub., I., l3?-8 and ib., G Rot. Cane, 8rd Join, 82, 216, 325, 335, 338, 

II., 535. < It. Dicet., I., 885. 

' Rot. de Obi. et Pin., I., 178. 

THE DE CLARES.— RICHARD, 3bd EARL, 1173—1217. 


quickly fell before the royal and victorious penitent. Bigod himself made his peace, and the 
earls of Gloucester and Hertford hastened to tender their obedience. 1 

Later de Clare supported the king, when his son Henry, whom he had had crowned during his 
own lifetime, rebelled against his father, but thei'e seems little to record during the rest of 
Henry II.'s reign, which was a period of peace in England, after the young king's death in 1183. 

The Bigods and de Clares were of course neighbours in Suffolk and disputed in 11S8 for the 
honour of carrying the banner of St. Edmund in battle. 2 De Clare was not above claiming 5s. for 
the job, but Roger Bigod declared the right was his and that he had actually carried the standard 
at the defeat of the earl of Leicester and the Flemings in 1173 four years before the death of his 
father Hugh, earl of Norfolk. 3 The Abbot of Bury rather ambiguously said that it certainly 
seemed inglorious for so great a man as de Clare to receive so small a sum for such 4 a service, but 
it was a slight matter and he would willingly pay de Clare his 5s., though there was a 
third claimant, Thomas de Mendham. De Clare said he would discuss the matter with his 
cousin de Bohun, and so it was left for future settlement. What happened eventually is lost 
to history. 

Next year, 1189, Richard was at Bury again in attendance on the new king, who made a 
pilgrimage there on November 9th, 5 but no more is heard about the saint's standard. De Clare had 
been present on September 3rd, 1189, at the great ceremony of Richard's coronation, which was 
performed with the strictest attention to ancient ritual and has furnished precedents ever since, 
and he was probably one of the earls who then assisted in carrying the regalia. 6 He did not 
go on the crusade, but was one of the magnates sent for to Germany by Cceur de Lion when trying 
to arrange his ransom in 1193; so Walter de Coventry says, 7 and as the negotiations were difficult 
and protracted Richard may have been abroad a considerable while. 

At home he was not a supporter of John's pretensions. As the king's son in his father's 
lifetime, and later as regent during Richard's long absence from England, John was always 
unpopular and despised for the extraordinary obliquity of his character : had he been less hated 
his treasonable projects against his elder brother might have been less unsuccessful. Cceur de Lion 
was hardly known to his people except as a tax-gatherer, treating England chiefly as a source of 
funds for his foreign expeditions, and John had every opportunity, and high hopes, of seizing the 
kingly power for himself. But the great barons would not join his plots, and no doubt found it 
more to their advantage, in Richard's absence, to devote their energies to the increase of their own 
individual power rather than to the aggrandisement of John. De Clare particularly might have 
been expected to support John, because his wife Amice was sister to John's wife Isabel, but he 
certainly did not do so, and it was with foreign mercenaries that John made his abortive attempt in 
1194, which ended with the sudden return of Cceur de Lion from captivity and his magnanimous 
forgiveness of his worthless brother. 8 

Ainice and Isabel, the wives of Richard de Clare and of John earl of More ton, nicknamed 
Lackland by his father before he found provision for him, were the two elder of the three daughters 
of William second earl of Gloucester, son of Robert the first earl (died 1147), the eldest but 
illegitimate son of Henry I. This earl had no son, and " not enduring the idea of dividing his 
inheritance among daughters," made John Lackland his heir 9 in 1176 at Henry II.'s request, the 
king undertaking to find Isabel a wealthy marriage if the Pope forbad her marriage with her third 
cousin John, then ten years old. In return for this grant the king gave £100 yearly rental of land 

1 Epist. Cant., II., 329; Gflst. Reg., II., 1-19. 
8 Joe. de Br., I., 261. 

3 Jocelin supports this statement. 

4 The word is tali not ianio. 

5 B.M. Add. MSS., 31,941, f. 80 (Eytou). 

6 Gest. Reg., H. II., R. S., II., 80-1. 
* Walt. Cov., II., 33. 

s He landed at Sandwich Sunday, March 20, 1194. R. de 

" Mat. P., II., 298 ; Walt. Gov., I., 268. 


in England to each of the earl of Gloucester's other two daughters Mabel and Amice. 1 If the 
earl of Gloucester chanced to have a son and heir (which was presumably thought very unlikely) 
then his earldom was to be divided half and half with John. 

The earl of Gloucester died in 1183, when two daughters Mabel and Amice were already 
countess of Evreux and countess of Hertford, while Isabel the third was " in the hand of God and 
the lord king who will give her to whom he will," as Robert of Torigni put it. It was accordingly 
in pursuance both of her and of his own father's express wishes that Richard, on his accession in 
1189, gave Isabel of Gloucester in marriage to his brother John, who married her in defiance of 
Archbishop Baldwin's prohibition on the score of the third cousinship. 2 Isabel (also called Hawisa 3 
or Avice, which was her mother's name, who was a daughter of Robert de Beaumont, second earl of 
Leicester and died in 1197)* bore no children and was divorced by John in 1199. He then forced 
her on Geoffrey de Mandeville, earl of Essex, who was mulcted in over 10,000 marks for the 
unwanted honour and suffered great waste of lands and timber from John's rapacity in consequence. 5 
Geoffrey died of wounds received jousting in 1214, without children, and she then married 
Hubert de Burgh and died in October 1217,° after affording a conspicuous instance of the 
shameless marriage traffic of those days. Almaric count of Evreux and Mabel had one son, who 
however died without issue, and thus the whole earldom of Gloucester vested in Amice and 
her descendants. 

Amice survived earl Richard by some eight years and on his death was accorded the full rights 
of a widow, nor does any suggestion of illegitimacy appear to have been breathed against their son 
and heir, Gilbert. Nevertheless, it is on record that Richard and Amice were " divorced " about 
the time of John's accession, for Amice and her steward Hugh de Cheriton were defendants in a 
case of alleged unjust disseisin at Sudbury in 1199, when Amice was described as "late the wife of 
Richard earl de Clare." 7 Elsewhere moreover, the record of the same case explains that the 
countess brought Sudbury to Richard as part of her marriage portion, and that " after she had 
been separated from him by order of the Pope on the ground of consanguinity she went to Sudbury 
herself and held her own court there." 8 She then cited to it, and subsequently evicted as a 
punishment for non-attendance, the plaintiff, one Richard son of William, a free tenant in Sudbury; 
and his action for damages has preserved this apparently solitary record of Amice's domestic 
troubles. 9 The relationship which caused this separation has not been traced, but technically the 
church forbad the marriage of cousins, even of the seventh degree, so that cases of unwitting 
infringement would be common. This led to frequent dispensations being granted, and it may be 
the more readily understood how the huge system of lawyers' and canonists' fees grew into a sort 
of sliding scale of purchase at Rome, "where every law was mute when money spoke." 10 Doubtless 
therefore Richard restored his married estate at the expense of his pocket. 

Little else is known of his doings about this date save that at Michaelmas 1198 he excused 
himself from attendance on the king at Hertford, his name appearing among the list of essoins by 
proxy of one Gawet, who was presumably his steward. 11 

On king Richard's death William Marshall, earl of Strigul (better known later as earl of 

1 Hoveden, II., 100. Cf. Gest. Reg., H. II., R. S., I., pontificis separata fuit a comite de Clara viro suo." Abbrev. 

124-5. Plaoit., 25. 

5 Mat. P., II., 348. " She made good her claim apparently. " Comitissa de 
3 Mat. P., II., 462. Clara habet curiam suam de Rico fil Williehui et Rico fil 
A Ann. Mon. T., I., 55. Johannis de t'ra in Subir." Abbrev. Plaoit., 36. 

i Ann. Mon. 1)., III., 45; Mat. 1'., VI., 71, says '"" Ubi numnius loquitur et lex omnis tacet." Pol. Songs, 

20,000 marks was the price. 16, T. Wright, Camden Soo., 1829, in a diatribe on the 

6 P. R., 1217, 105; Ann. Mon. Wav., II., 28!». venaJity of Rome and the times generally, ascribed to William 
'• Rot. Cur. Rogis., l'algrave, II., 180. Mapes. 

* "Cumpsrlineaniconsanguinitatisper proceptuui suiumi " Rot. Cur. Regis., 171. 

THE DE CLARES.— RICHARD, 3rd EARL, 1173—1217. 

Pembroke or the Earl Marshal 1 ), and Hubert "Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, were sent home 
by John, who was in France, to secure his succession. Marshall's wife was de Clare's second 
cousin Isabel, Strong-bow's heiress, and Marshall's influence was strong with Richard all his life. 
Accordingly on the assurance of the Justiciars that John duke of Normandy would render every 
man right if they kept their fealty and peace to him, Richard, his cousin Ranulph earl of Chester, 
Waleran earl of Warwick, and others agreed at Northampton to accept John as king of England. 

John, who had tarried in Normandy to secure the dukedom and punish Mans, which had 
proclaimed young Arthur, landed at Shoreham on May 25th, and hastening to London was 
accordingly crowned at St. Peter's, Westminster, on Ascension Day, May 27th 1199, by 
Archbishop Hubert, when Richard de Clare was among the great nobles gathered to 
support him. 2 

No doubt this was a favourable moment for the assertion of his rights, and the Archbishop 
then recovered possession of Saltwood, Hythe, and Rochester Castle, and also received de Clare's 
homage for Tonbridge Castle. 3 

But when John came to the throne he had learnt no virtues and forgotten none of his vices. 
As Professor Pollard has well said, " he could never discern the way in which his conduct would be 
judged by other men, because he lacked even the rudiments of conscience.'" 

Isabella had borne John no children and he had probably made up his mind to get rid of her as 
early as February 1193, when his intrigues with Philip Augustus involved not only doing homage for 
his brother's French possessions (and some said even for England which he hoped to usurp), but a 
promise to marry Philip's sister Adela. These schemes proved abortive, but a few months after 
his accession he discovered that his marriage with Isabella was illegal on the score of their 
consanguinity, which he had refused to consider when Archbishop Baldwin laid his lands under an 
interdict on those very grounds at his marriage in 1189. 

He persuaded the Archbishop of Bordeaux to pronounce a divorce in due form* and forthwith 
dispatched ambassadors to the king of Portugal asking for his daughter's hand. Meantime, 
however, at the house of the count de la Marche he saw Isabella of Angouleme, the twelve year 
old affianced bride of Hugh de Lusignan (le Brun) growing up in feudal fashion under the care of 
her intended husband's father. The child's beauty pleased his eye, and as neither morality nor good 
faith had any hold on him, he was married to her forthwith by the subservient Archbishop of 
Bordeaux on August 26th 1 200, and thereby not only completed the hatred and contempt felt for 
him, but eventually lost all his French possessions. The murder of his nephew Arthur, his loss 
of Normandy to the French, his violent quarrel with Innocent III. over the appointment of 
Stephen Langton to the see of Canterbury are a well-known chapter of English history. It was in 
March 1208 that England was laid under interdict: the churches were closed; no celebrations 
of Holy Communion were held ; baptism and extreme unction alone were administered lest souls 
should be lost; burial was permitted only in unconsecrated ground, and even marriages were 
celebrated entirely outside the saCred walls. 5 So the old tower of St. Mary's at Blechingley looked 
down on the strange sight of wedding services completed beneath it in the open air, while within 
the locked doors dust silently accumulated for five whole years. 

In this first year of the interdict de Clare was certainly in the south of England, for his name 
occurs in the Pipe Roll of the Bishopric of Winchester for 1 208-9 when the Justiciar, earl de Clare, 
and Richard de Cornhull were at the Bishop's charges. They cost the Farnham estate 56s., 

1 He was hereditary marshal of England jugt as he was 4 Ann. Mon. D., III., 45. Archiepiscopo Burdegalensi 

earl of Pembroke, jure uxoris. divortium celebrante. 

5 Ann. Mon., I., 198-9 (Hovedeu) ; Walt. Cov , II., 146. 5 In mediaeval days the first part of the marriage service 

Cf. Eot. Cur. Reg., Palgrave, LXXX. was normally performed at the church door, but of course the 

3 Gerv. Cant., II., 409, 411. bridal party came inside for the completion of the service. 


presumably for their meat and drink, besides 2£ quarters of corn for bread, 15 quarters of oats 
for provender and 3 pigs and 3 flitches (baco). The Justiciar was Geoffrey FitzPeter, who had held 
office since 1199, and de Clare was apparently acting in a judicial capacity as his father had done in 
1170 ; de Cornhull was one of the regular justices in eyre. The Bishop of Winchester, the Poitevin 
Peter des Roches, was one of the only three bishops who stood by John and remained in England 
at this time, but de Clare's visit was clearly official, and considering the size of retinues in those 
days was probabby, to judge by the consumption, of less rather than over one week in duration. 
Next year, to add to the troubles of the unhappy land, there was a terrible drought, and wells were 
deepened on the Bishop's property. 1 

Whether de Clare's visit was repeated is not known, but about this time Richard was 
probably a good deal in the west. He and his sou Gilbert seem to have acted always 
closely in concert, and, as Gilbert, then presumably of full age, fortified his castle of Buelth 
in Wales in 1211, it may be supposed that father and son were consolidating their great 
estates in Wales and on the Marches. Their position there made it practically imperative 
that the family should be on the side of the great barons, and so, incidentally, on the side of 
national liberty against kingly aggression. Subsequent events — how, finding that the king- 
snapped his fingers at the Interdict and filled his exchequer with the church's property, in the 
spring of 1213 Innocent declared John deposed and commissioned Philip Augustus to chastise him ; 
how even this humiliation could hardly spur the country to support John ; how the king suddenly 
broke down, accepted Langton, did homage to the papal legate Pandulf, and received back his 
crown as a vassal of the Pope ; how thereupon the Pope bade Philip stay his hand and John 
attempted to raise an expedition to recover Normandy — need only be recited. The same fear and 
hatred of John operated; among the people, the ignominy of the surrender to the Pope was 
swallowed up in the joy at the reopening of the churches, and the great barons, when called on to 
join the war, discovered that they had no money, and could not be called upon to serve beyond the 
seas. John, not to be baulked, allied himself Avith his nephew, the Emperor Otto TV., but while 
he was trying to recover Poitou the emperor and the English army under the king's brother, the 
earl of Salisbury, were utterly defeated at Bouvines on July 27th, 1214. 2 

This great victory gave Philip Augustus all north-western France. John abandoned his 
attempts at their recovery and having thus patched up peace with France returned home, furious, 
to wreak his vengeance on the barons who had refused to join his French campaign. But 
Langton, who had supported the chief barons in their refusal to go abroad, was now still more 
closely concerting with them a revival of the charter of Henry I., to curb John's power and compel 
him to observe the ancient laws and privileges of the realm. It was at St. Edmund's Bury on 
November 20th, 1214 — St. Edmund's Day (chosen perhaps because a large gathering in honour of 
the martyred king would not attract attention) — that, convened by the great pati'iot cardinal- 
archbishop, the barons assembled in St. Edmund's church. There Langton produced the articles, 
which next year were destined to be sealed by John at Runnymede, and there five and twenty of the 
chief nobles of England swore on the altar to compel the king to ratify their charter. Among 
them was Richard himself, his son Gilbert, his cousin FitzWalter, the leader of next year's fight 
with John ; his cousin by marriage, William Marshall earl of Pembroke, whose daughter Isabel 
was Gilbert's newly-wedded bride; 3 and others too, de Mowbray, de Mandeville, de Albini, de Lacy 
connected with the de Clares, whose blood was of the noblest in the land. 

Next January (1215) the barons called on John to confirm king Henry's charter; he temporized 
and tried negotiations through Langton, but the hunt was now up and the quarry was not to 

1 Pipe ltoll of Bishop of Winchester for 1208-9, ed. by H. Hall, 1903, pp. 39-40, and xiii. 
• "William Longespee, third earl of Salisbury, bastard of Henry II. by "Fair Rosamond.'' 
3 They were married ou St. Denis' Day, October 9th, 1214. Ann. Mon. T.. I., 61. 


escape. At Easter, headed by Robert FitzWalter, "Marshal of the array of God and Holy Church," 
with de Clare and Gilbert among their leaders, the barons' forces marched on London. On 
May 17th the capital received them joyfully, and John was left almost alone. With characteristic 
and ludicrous hypocrisy he had taken the cross on February 2nd 1 in a vain hope to drag the red 
herring of a crusade across the line ; when this availed nothing he retired to Windsor calling 
loudly on the Pope for help, and finally was run to ground at Eunnymede, where, on Surrey soil, on 
the Monday after Trinity Sunday, June 15th 1215, he sealed Magna Charta. 2 Of all the clauses in 
it — and the charter was dictated chiefly it must be remembered by the desire to curb the king's 
arbitrary exactions from the great barons, his tenants in chief, and only subsidiarily dealt with the 
general liberties of the common people — none perhaps is more remarkable than the clause which 
provides for 24 barons (among them were both earl Richard and Gilbert de Clare), together with 
the Lord Mayor, to be 25 trustees to see that the king performed his sworn engagements. None 
was more necessary, as Langton, and de Clare, and all who knew John, knew. The wax was 
scarcely hard upon the parchment before he had sent to Innocent III. to annul it and protest that 
he was a crusader unable to start and in duress to his people. The Pope responded to his 
faithful vassal's piteous call : Langton was suspended, and the charter declared null and void three 
months after its delivery. 

The Archbishop departed hot-foot for Rome to seek a reversal of this decree, and, with his 
moderating influence gone, the barons prepared immediately for civil war. John had been collecting 
mercenaries ever since his return home, especially since sealing the charter he never meant to keep, 
and by the seizure of Rochester Castle gained the first advantage in October. The barons mean- 
while had entered London in September, where they turned out the Lord Mayor and put in their 
own nominee, 3 declared John deposed and called on Louis, son of Philip Augustus and husband 
of John's niece Blanche of Castile, to come and take the crown. This was a disastrous move, as it 
gave John the appearance of representing the national party, and it alienated many from their side. 
The thunders of the church, too, fell on them. Richard and Gilbert being among the twenty-four 
barons specially charged with the enforcement of the obnoxious charter were clearly in open arms 
against papal authority, and in December both were excommunicated. John was at first strong in 
the south, where the earls of Arundel and Surrey were with him. The Rochester garrison attacked 
and seized Tonbridge Castle, but when Louis landed, John, perhaps not daring to trust his 
mercenaries against their fellow countrymen, retreated north, ravaging everywhere as if he were 
in a foreign country. Louis marched by Rochester to London, so that it is unlikely he came to 
Blechingley, although the de Clares were with him. 

The war rolled gradually northwards, for soon in all the south only Dover and Windsor held 
out for John, and among the nobles the old earl of Pembroke and the earl of Chester were almost 
his only supporters. Richard de Clare was now no longer a young man, and possibly he was not 
whole-heartedly with the French invasion ; he had always been intimate with his cousin 
William Marshall, earl of Pembroke, whose familiar name of Earl Marshal was the most 
respected in England, and it seems he did not take an active part in the campaign in which 
Pembroke was the chief general on John's side. That spring (1216) Louis had to return to France 
for a while. Pope Innocent III. died in July and the war dragged on until the autumn, when John 
lost his baggage and treasure in the Wash, caught cold, and mended the fortunes of the Royalists 
by leaving them and this world on October 16th, 1216. The Earl Marshal was immediately elected 
to the regency 4 on behalf of Henry III., the nine-year old son of John and his stolen bride Isabella 

1 In die purificatiouis crucem Domini suscepit timore 3 Chronicle of London, 1089 — 1483 (from Harl. MSS. 
potius quam devotione. Matt. P., II., 584-5. 565, etc., pub. Longman Rees, 1827), p. 8. Roger FitzAleyn 

2 Itinerary of King John in description of Patent Rolls. was the evicted mayor and Cerle was put in his place. 
Record Com. ; Duffus Hardy, 1835. 4 "Rector regis et regui." 



of Angoulenie. The Regent's first act was to proclaim a pardon to all who would lay down their 
arms, while by re-issuing the great charter he gave assurances of good government. 

Many of the barons wavered or altogether left Louis, whose forces began to dwindle, while the 
new Pope, Honorius, having recognized Henry III. as king, deprived the Frenchman of a sanction 
which had possibly made him less distasteful to some. Of earl Richard's action no record is found ; 
probably he was in feeble health and took no active part, but his son and heir Gilbert, with sound 
judgment of the country's needs, opened negotiations without delay. On St. Stephen's day at 
Gloucester, less than ten weeks after John's death, a letter of safe conduct was granted him for 
twelve days, 1 and the following spring he had a safe conduct for fifteen days after Easter Monday 
(March 27th) to come with two soldiers and ten servants to parley with his father-in-law at 
Winchester. 3 He then no doubt agreed to support the government, and very possibly he fought 
under the Earl Marshal when the stout old warrior defeated the Anglo-French army at Lincoln on 
May 20th, 1217, killing their chief leader the count de la Perche and taking some 300 knights and 
barons prisoners. Dugdale, who says Gilbert was taken prisoner at Lincoln and sent in custody to 
Gloucester, has clearly confused the earl of Hereford with the earl of Hertford, besides ante-dating 
Gilbert's accession to the family honours by several months. 3 

August saw a French fleet with reinforcements defeated in the Channel, and Louis was glad 
to make the best terms he could. The Earl Marshal and the young king had now moved south 
again as the country fell into their hands, and a treaty was signed at Lambeth in September, by 
which Louis had an amnesty for all his followers and 10,000 marks for himself. Next month he 
left England, at peace at last, and amid wide rejoicings the Great Charter was re-issued for the 
second time, with the addition of the Charter of Forests. 

Earl Richard only lived to see England clear of the foreigner, dying in November 1217, a few 
weeks after Louis had left the country. At peace once more with the church he died, as so few of 
his race had done, in his bed, and at the dawn of what looked a more quiet and hopeful reign than 
the wild wretched times of John in which he had played so large and worthy a part. The year of 
his birth is not known, but as his younger brother, the sickly James, was born in 1169, Richard 
must have been at least 50 by the end of 1217, while unless his marriage (which took place before 
the earl of Gloucester's death in 1183) was a boy and girl nuptial contract, he was some five or six years 
older at least. But even 50, though not a " good old age," was far down the vale of years in 
those days of rough living and early deaths, and not many de Clares attained to half a century of 
life. Richard had in or before 1206 granted the church of Yalding with the chapelry of Brenchley, 4 
besides lands and rents in Kent, to the Priory of Tonbridge for the upkeep of their light, and also 
the curious service due from one John de Imeworth of 10 lbs. of incense payable at Michaelmas to 
cense his body. Accordingly at his death the convent petitioned the bishop to grant indulgence 
" to all who prayed for the soul of Sir Richard de Clare, formerly earl of Hertford, whose body 
lies in the church of St. Mary Magdalen of Tonbridge, and the souls of all faithful deceased and 
those who have assisted in the building or upkeep of the lights " of the same church. 5 

From Tunbridge his widow, Amicia, caused his body to be carried to Tewkesbury, in her own 
county of Gloucester, and buried in the choir of the abbey there, of which both her own family and 

1 P. R., Dec. 26, 1216 (15). Bee, IV., 17. Among the witnesses were " Gilbert and 

- P. R., March 27, 1217 (48). Richard, the earl's brothers," which must be a mistake for 

1 Dug. Bar., 211 a, b. It is curious that the Tewkesbury " sons." At least earl Richard had sons so called certainly, 

monk in recording Gilbert's marriage in 1214 styles him but brothers so called are found nowhere. The monks at once 

" Earl of Gloucester and Hereford." The Hereford is probably appropriated Yalding and installed a perpetual vicar, one 

merely a misprint, but the ascription of the earldoms to him is Lawrence, a clerk. Hugh d'Audley confirmed those grants in 

an error. See Note 3 on p. 59. 1326. Register Roff., 670—72. 

4 Reg. Roff., 145 ; also in Reg. Ilamo Ileth, f. 13, Kent 5 Bodl. Ch. and R., 113, and 127. 


her husband had been benefactors. She founded a hospital at Sudbury not far from Clare and also 
gave lands to the monks at Stoke Clare before she died in 1225. L 

VI. — So Gilbert succeeded his father as fourth earl of Hertford and added the earldom of 
Gloucester as sixth earl, in right of his mother, though he was not correctly earl of Gloucester till 
her death on January 1st, 1225. 2 He thus acquired the lordship of Glamorgan (where he at once 
confirmed his Gloucester ancestor's gifts to the monastery of Margam 3 ) with large lauded estates in 
the west, which, added to the de Clare conquests of past generations, made him perhaps even more 
powerful in Wales and the Marches than he was in East Anglia, Kent and Surrey. Through 
his father, moreover, he inherited his grandmother's honour of St. Hilary as well as the moiety of 
the Giffard fiefs ; while his marriage with his third cousin Isabel, daughter of the Earl Marshal 
and later his co-heiress (when all her five brothers had died violent deaths without issue), added in 
the next generation yet further to the huge possessions of the de Clares, when Gilbert's son 
Richard inherited in 1245 a fifth share of all the Pembroke lands. 

As head of the great house of de Clare Gilbert was practically the chief of the barons of 
England, and it must be remembered that these were now essentially English. The old Norman 
descent was not forgotten, but it merged in the national and patriotic associations of their native 
country ; and the French favourites of Henry III. were, if not as much aliens in blood, at least as 
much foreigners in their intrusion as the Normans had been to the Saxons. The new reign 
opened with the country distracted by the years of civil war, which, as in Stephen's time, had 
produced a plentiful crop of "adulterine" castles, erected wherever a local magnate was strong 
enough to set up the feudal right of might. Full of years and honour Gilbert's father-in-law, the 
Earl Marshal and Regent of England, died in 1219, before he had time to see the country fairly 
settled, and no doubt his death removed the most potent control over de Clare. Hubert de Burgh 
the Justiciar was now the chief power in the land, and followed the lines of the old earl's policy in 
suppressing the condottieri and bandit castellans whom John's iniquities had encouraged; but the 
pacification of the country was a process of some years. In 1222 de Clare, no doubt restless and 
too powerful to be idle long, engaged on an expedition to Wales, the traditional happy hunting, 
or rather fighting, ground of his family, and for this purpose he took scutage of all his tenants in 
no fewer than 19 counties. In July of the same year he was ordered by the king to desist from 
attacking the castle of Dinaunt Powys held by the new Earl Marshal, his brother-in-law 4 ; so 
clearly the usual feuds of the great Marcher barons were in course of prosecution. 

But quieter times ensued and the year 1225 saw the final re-issue of the Great Charter 
together with the confirmation of the Charter of Forests, when Gilbert is of course found among 
the witnesses to the king's act. Special importance attaches to this third and last re-issue of the 
Great Charter, because it was made in return for a money grant, and so affords a very important 
constitutional landmark. Gilbert, himself one of the "Charter lords" of 1217 when hardly 25, 
inherited from his father, with whom he always acted in close concert, a sturdy hatred of foreign 
favourites and royal autocracy ; and though his statesmanship cannot have been so long-sighted as 
to guess at the consequences which were to flow from this grant of quid pro quo, it is fitting to note 
that the chief of the de Clares was conspicuous among those to whom England owes thanks for an 
action which helped to lay the foundations of parliamentary government and national freedom. 

1 Dug. Bar., 211 a. by Henry II. in order to buy out her one-third claim 

2 Of the three co-heiresses, Mabel, wife of Almaric de upon it. 

Montfort. count of Evreux,o.s.p. 1198 (Ann. Mon. T., I., 5G), 3 Ann. Mon. M., I., 33, which says that he "took up the 

and Almaric o.s.p. 1212; while Isabel, as already seen, had two earldoms of Gloucester aud Hertford " in 1217, but he does 

died in October 1217, also childless. Hence the whole not seem usually to have borne the style of earl of Gloucester 

inheritance and demise of the earldom fell to Amice, who till 1225, his mother being countess in her own right, 
presumably still kept the £100 yearly rental, granted * P. E,., July 18, 1222 (346). 

i 2 


It is more than likely that during this period of peace earl Gilbert took in hand the pious work 
of adding to the parish church of Blechingley. The south aisle was undoubtedly built in the new 
Early English style about tbis date. In 1221, the year of tbeir founder's death, the Dominican or 
Black friars were already settled at Oxford, wbile tbe Franciscans arrived but three years later, and 
there was a hermit's cell built against the new south wall, probably for a friar, before 1233. 
Moreover, the curious Early English work on the north side of the chancel, with its elegant arcading 
below and its very plain finish above, strongly suggests that the sudden death of the patron in 1230 
left the rector to complete as best he might without the de Clare wealth to help him, when during 
a minority all the income had fallen into royal hands. The question is dealt with in the chapter on 
St. Mary's, but it is pleasing to note here what may well shew that earl Gilbert, best perhaps of all 
the de Clares, loved his chief Surrey manor. 

There is but little more to tell of him. In October 1226 he paid a fine of 2,000 marks on 
the marriage of his eldest daughter Amice to Baldwin, son of Baldwin de Rivers and grandson of 
William de Rivers earl of Devon, and " for having £200 rent of land, formerly of the aforesaid 
William," until Baldwin's majority. 1 This was one of those child espousals so frequently arranged 
as important family business in those days, and Baldwin, who was ward of Richard of Cornwall, 
was knighted and invested with the earldom of Devon at Christmas, 1240, when he probably 
came of age. 2 

On January 30th next year Gilbert was one of the witnesses at Westminster to Henry III.'s 
Charter permitting the removal of the cathedral from Old to New Saruni and confirming the same 
rights to the new city as Winchester enjoyed. 3 Later in the year with other barons he joined the 
rising of Richard earl of Cornwall, the king's brother, from whom Henry had taken the castle of 
Berkhamstead, and they also sent a threatening letter to the king about the forest charters which 
Henry had cancelled at Oxford. Henry, who had apparently treated his brother Richard very 
arbitrarily, gave way before the barons' threats, meeting them at Northampton in August and 
promising satisfaction, so the threatened rebellion came to an end. 4 

Later in 1227 Gilbert was campaigning in Wales and took Morgan Cam prisoner. 5 

In February 1228 he had a gift of 40 cheverones (i.e., rafters) in the wood of Auvour from 
the king "to house himself at Cranbourne.'" 5 This was no doubt for a "shooting box " in the 
chase, such gifts of "chevrons" by the king not being uncommon and seeming always to be in 
multiples of five. There were disturbances in London that spring and Gilbert's brother Richard 
was murdered on Ascension Day (May 4th), which led to further fighting and the killing of many 
royal retainers. This year Gilbert again led an army against the Welsh, and discovered iron, lead 
and silver mines in Wales. 7 

It seems he followed the family tradition of increasing their estates in the west by more 
questionable means than mining, for at the end of February 1230 orders were issued to William 
Earl Marshal, and Gilbert earl of Gloucester, to yield up to the Archdeacon of Llandaff all the 
possessions of the bishopric which they had taken on the bishop's death. 8 Whether he obeyed does 
not appear, but this claim to the temporalities on voidance of the see was regularly made by the 
earls of Gloucester and reappears in later generations. 

But this is almost the last episode of his career. Early in 1230 Henry collected large sums of 
mone} r , more particularly exacting very heavy contributions from the Jews, and in May he crossed 
over with a large army into Brittany. 9 William Marshall, Gilbert, and many others went with him, 
but the French barons mustered in strength to oppose them, and Henry, whose indolent and rather 

1 1'. It., Octobor 29, 1226 (87), and Exoerp. Hot. Fin., 6 C. It., February 15, 1228 (80), " ad se hospitundum 

I., 151. : Matt. P., IV., 1. apud Cranburn." ~< Ann. Mod. T., I., 70. 

• Charters of Salisbury, R. S., 175—8. 8 P. R., February 28, 1230 (327). 

* Matt. P., III., 125. 5 Aim. Mora. M., I., 36. ° Matt. P., III., 194. 


cowardly character was averse to the hardships of campaigning, after spending a considerable 
while and a great deal of money without achieving anything, returned ingloriously to England, 
leaving his army in great straits for food. 1 

A stinging sirvente or troubadour's lay by Bernard de Rovenac referring to this campaign 
declares the cowardice and vileness of Henry, who could not defend his own people and lost his 
French possessions "Tours and Angiers, Normans and Bretons." 2 Large numbers of the English 
perished of wounds, hunger, and disease, and among them was Gilbert de Clare who died at Penros 
on St. Crispin's night, October 25th, 1230. 3 By his own desire his body was shipped at once to 
Plymouth and carried with large distributions of alms and offerings on the way to Cranbourne, 
where he had spent so many happy hunting days, and thence to the family resting place in 
St. Mary's Abbey at Tewkesbury. Here the body lay the Saturday night of St. Martin's eve and 
on Sunday (November 11th) was laid to rest before the high altar in the presence of the abbots of 
Tewkesbury, Tintern and other prelates and a vast concourse of people. Gilbert left the wood of 
Mythe just above Tewkesbury and a splendidly gilt silver cross to the abbey, having made his will 
at Southwick-on-Sea in Sussex on April 30th before starting, and again in the same sense in Brittany 
on October 23rd, probably when seized with his fatal illness. 4 

The first earl of Gloucester and Hertford cannot have been over 40, if he had indeed reached 
that age, when his life was thus sacrificed to the miserable (or non-existent) commissariat of the 
day. The year of his birth is not known, but as he was a charter lord in 1216, he was presumably 
then of full age. He was married in 1214, and though in an age of child marriages that in itself is 
no special evidence of manhood, yet it seems more than likely that the union with his third cousin 
Isabel Marshall was a love match. Eventually very large lands accrued through her to their son 
Richard, but she was no great heiress as a bride, being one of ten children with five brothers 
between her and the Pembroke and Marshall estates, of which she was destined to become co-heiress 
with her four sisters. Isabel was clearly a woman of much personal charm, since her second 
husband, the able Richard of Cornwall, was devoted to her, while her own wish to be buried by 
Gilbert (as related below) points to the strength of her first love. 

Gilbert himself was doubtless every inch a man, endowed with all the physical virtues and 
graces which distinguished his noble race, a man moreover of sound sense and clear head, and 
further possessed of a sweet temper and a more open joyous nature than either his son Richard the 
grasping, or his red-haired grandson Gilbert the unscrupulous, can be supposed to hare been 
blessed with. 

So at least the facts of his life seem to suggest, and the chronicler's lines, which repeat once 
more the facile play on the " clarity " of his name, seem to confirm the estimate : — 

" Gilbert de Clare f u apele, 
Ki mult estoit de sen fonde ; 
Molt retint bien son sornon, 
Clere e joconde out la fa9on." 5 

Sir Gilbert de Clare was his name, 

His wit was both stable and keen ; 
As Clare he was true to his fame, 

So clear (bright) and so joyous his mien. 

1 Flor. Hist., II., 200. nobilibus innumerabilibus vel morti datis vel infirmitate et 

: "Pol. Songs," T. Wright, Camden Soc, 37. It is fame attenuates, vel ad extremam redactis paupertatem." Of. 

in Provencal, and too difficult to quote. also Ann. Mon. D., III., 125. 
3 Ann. Mon. T., 76. Matt. P., III., 199-200, tells how * Ann. Mon. T., I., 76-77. 

Henry returned to England, " consumpta pecunia infinity, et 5 Continuation de Brut. Chrou. Angl.-Norm., I., 114. 



A memorial stone was put over his grave a year later, on September 28th, 1231, and Isabel 
founded a chantry (instituit virum capellanum in perpetmim) to his memoiy at Market Street in 
Bedfordshire, endowing it with the then very usual yearly stipend of £5. x She was left with a 
young family of three sons and three daughters : Richard, aged 7 ; Gilbert, and William, aged 2 ; 
Amice, aged 10, who had already been four years espoused to Baldwin de Rivers ; Agnes, and Isabel 
who in 1240 married Robert de Brus. 

Within six months of Gilbert's death, but ten months or more after he had sailed for the fatal 
Brittany campaign, on March 30th, 1231, just a month before the death of her own eldest brother 
William Marshall, Isabel married her husband's ally Richard, earl of Cornwall, the king's brother. 2 
She bore him a daughter Isabel in 1233 who only lived three years, and in 1235 a son Henry (who 
fought at Lewes, and whose murder in church at Viterbo by Guy and Simon de Montfort in 1271 
thrilled all western Europe). She died in childbirth at Richard's castle of Berkhamstead on 
January 16th, 1239; but despite her speedy remarriage she had not forgotten her first love, and 
desired to be laid by him at Tewkesbury. This Cornwall would not permit, and she was buried at 
Beaulieu, where he himself designed to lie before the high altar. Her heart, however, enclosed in a 
parcel-gilt cup was carried off by Henry de Shipton, abbot of Tewkesbury, who was present at her 
death-bed, and he buried it in Gilbert's grave. 

Whereupon the monkish chronicler breaks into rhyming hexameters : — 

With her last vow the countess left her loving heart 

'Stead of her body sending thus the better part ; 

So severed, in sweet memory of her first dear lord, 

That heart, sent hither, shall her true love here record, 

Where prayers of Holy Church o'er their joined hearts may gain, 

Conjoined in God, His heavenly rest for both the twain. 3 

Her piety was attested no less by her legacies to Tewkesbury than by the wonderful list of 
relics iucluded among them which she had received as gifts from the Pope.' 1 

The news of Gilbert's death had taken but a few days to reach home, for on November 1st the 
king wrote from Winchester to the late earl's bailiff, that " having lately heard rumours of the 
death of your master, we Avith grief and sadness commit the custody of all his lands to our faithful 
chancellor Hubert de Burgh by reason of the close intimacy between them." 5 And the next week 
Hubert de Burgh, earl of Kent, Justiciar, had a grant of all Gilbert's lands and castles together 
with the marriage of his heirs, saving only to the countess Isabel her reasonable dower out of the 
said lands/' He paid no less than 7,000 marks (£4,667 6s. 8d.) for this profitable stewardship. 7 

At this time Henry was falling more and more under the influence of foreign favourites : his 
mother Isabella of Angouleme had, after John's death, married her former betrothed Hugh de 
Lusignan, and her second family were all urgent claimants on the king's bouuty. Isabella, it must 
be remembered, was the foreign woman for whose sake John had divorced his first wife Isabel, 

1 Add. Mon. T., I., 114. 
3 Matt. P., III., 201 ; Ann. Mon. T., I. 78. 
3 Postremo voto legavit cor comitissa 
Pars melior toto fuit hoc pro corpore missa 
U*o »e divisit, dominum recolendo priorem ; 
Hue cor quod misit verum tcstatur arnorem. 
His siraul ecclesice sauctee sulfragia prosint, 
Ut simul in requie coelcsti cunJ Domino sint. 

Ann. Mon. T., I., 113. 

* The gifts from 1 he Pope were as follows: Helios (not 

■pacified) of Saint Cornelius, Pope; hair of the virgin St. 

Elizabeth ; of the three children (i.e., Shadrach, Meshech and 

Abednego) ; of SS. Mark and Marcellian ; the napkin of 

St. Agnes; of the holy martyrs SS. Olimpius, Theodorus, 
Sempronius, Superbia, Lucilla and Pautaleo ; of St. Damasus, 
Pope, of St. Basilius the confessor, and of the blessed 
40 martyrs. She also bequeathed two copes of baudeke well 
adorned, one good parti-coloured ehasuble, and a tunic and 
dalmatic of one piece to match, of linen. All of which came 
from her own chapel ; besides 40 marks in money, a parcel- 
gilt chalice, two silver phials, a silver thurible, a covered silver 
cup and the Pope's phial, which held all the relics. Ibidem. 

6 P. it., Nov. 1, 1230 (412). 

6 Ch. Bolls, Nov. 8, 1230 (120). 

1 Exccrp. Hot. Fin., I., 205. 


sister of Amice of Gloucester, young Richard's grandmother (who had died in 1225) ; the de Clares, 
with the Pembi-okes, always stood foremost in their hatred of the foreigner, and the wrong done by 
John to his wife's sister no doubt caused old Richard to hand down an added legacy of hatred for 
the alien. De Burgh, who as justiciar practically ruled England after the old Earl Marshal's death, 
stood for the same policy of England for the English, so that with his own family traditions and 
such a patriot for guardian, young Richard must early have imbibed the principles which later 
made him oppose Henry's mad schemes of conquest abroad and stand foremost among those who 
fought to limit the power of the monarchy, and so help to build up parliamentary government and 
the constitutional freedom which was to become the greatest glory of the nation. 


III. — Earl Richard's minority. Eoger de Clare. De Clare grave-stones in Norfolk. 

On Gilbert's death the old question of the over-lordship of Tonbridge was soon raised. After 
Richard's death in 1217 it had not been raised, perhaps because of Archbishop Langton's tact and 
his close friendship with the de Clares as charter barons. But Langton had died two years before 
Gilbert, and in 1231 Archbishop Richard Withershed complained to the king that de Burgh was 
wrongfully in possession of the town and castle. Henry replied as his grandfather had done, that 
the earl held of himself, the king, in chief, and during minority the king could dispose as he chose. 
Whereupon the Archhishop excommunicated de Burgh and all the intruders (but not the king), and 
betook this and other complaints in person to the Pope. 1 There he secured the Pontiff's support, 
but dying on the way home with several of his retinue — not without suspicion of poison 2 — left the 
dispute for a later generation to settle. It may be noted that in 1210 among the list of the 
" Archbishop's Knights " in Kent appears earl de Clare, two fees, and countess de Clare, one fee in 

De Burgh was deprived of office in 1232, and of most of his lands soon after: Peter des Roches, 
the Poitevin bishop of Winchester, became Chancellor, an office which superseded that of Justiciar 
as the highest under the king, and though he only held office two years, he was merely the first of 
the foreigners who now controlled the ship of state. De Burgh's wife at that time (being his 
fourth) was Margaret, sister to the king of Scotland, whom he had married in 1221, and it is 
interesting to note that wheu after his fall she had a safe conduct to join him in London, her escort 
consisted of Ralph Tyrel (the Tyrels being connected with the de Clares from Conquest days) and 
Roger de Clare. s 

When de Burgh fell all the de Clare lands were taken over by the king. Richard de la Lade, 
the escheator, was named custodian, 4 while Peter de Rivaulx the treasurer, and Robert Passelew 5 
were appointed receivers. In 1234 an enquiry was held by Richard de la Lade and Lawrence de 
St. Albans into the state of the lands when Hubert de Burgh surrendered them to those two, with 
an exact account of all the stock, corn and other effects, revenues of woods and other profits, debts 
due to Hubert, incomings and outgoings at the time of such transfer, and further to enquire what 
corn and other goods de Rivaulx and Passelew sold, at what prices, and if they sold fairly or no. 6 
The result if extant would give an interesting account of the thirteenth-century farming in 
Blechingley parish, but it has not been found. 

But Richard's wardship got de Burgh into worse plight than loss of lands. The king had 
granted him, with the wardship, also the marriage of Richard, and on de Burgh's disgrace he was 
allowed to keep some of his confiscated lands on condition that he surrendered the marriage, and 
swore that he would make no attempt to influence young de Clare. Henry designed to attach the 
count de la Marche more closely to his own party by giving the wealthy de Clare in marriage to 
one of the count's daughters. But at Michaelmas 1236 it was discovered that young Richard, then 
just over fourteen, had been clandestinely married to de Burgh's daughter Margaret, aged fifteen ; 
and it looked as if de Burgh might lose not only lands but life over it. 7 Twice Henry sent for his 

1 Matt. P., III., 201. * C. R., June 4, 1234 (580). 

1 Matt. P., III., 205. Withershed (? Witheringsett iu * Robert Passelew was a "King's clerk" and assistant 

Sussex) wa» called le Grand, or Great, from his great stature. treasurer, who after many years faithfully spent iu extortion 

Hubert de Burgh was in 1232 accused of poisoning the arch- on the king's behalf, wearied of court duties and was ordained 

bishop among the other charges trumped up against him by priest, to the great astonishment and wrath of llenry. 

Henry III. Matt. P., III., 223. Matt. P., V., 85. 

a P. E., Not. 7, 1232 (1). 6 C. R., July 17, 1234 (679). ' C. R., 1236 (509). 


deposed minister and vehemently de Burgh protested his innocence. He had kept his oath to the 
king and never spoken to de Clare; moreover, certain nobles had spoken to him about his daughter's 
marriage and said she ought to be affianced, and his wife had gone on her knees to him and 
declared that there was so much between Richard and Margaret that she could marry no one else ; 
and "on that account," said de Burgh rather naively, "she could not then have been married." 
But he confessed that from all his wife afterwards said he was not certain whether they were 
married or no ; " she had declared the marriage took place at St. Edmund's Bury while he was 
besieged at Merton. Moreover, he acknowledged his oath to the king, but said there was no 
question about lands, only about his offices as Justiciar and Constable of Dover ; thereupon the king 
produced the Chancery Roll, with the agreement, but the earl refused to own it, and declared that 
he took the oath under pain of forfeiting the king's favour." De Burgh apparently in the end 
convinced Henry that he had been no party to the secret wedding ; but the boy and girl couple were 
of course at once parted, and an order to de la Lade as keeper of the Honour of Gloucester on 
June 17th, 1237, to find necessaries for " Richard de Clare, king's yeoman (vasletto) who is sick at 
Blescing'legh," and for his men and horses,' indicates that Richard was interned in his own castle 
there, sick and sorry for his too early romance so rudely nipped. Matters probably never proceeded 
to a formal divorce, and the death of Margaret in November that very year 2 closed the unhappy 
episode which threw so dark a shadow on the threshold of de Clare's career. 3 

In October 1237 4 de la Marche was apparently declining the young man for one of his 
daughters, so that failing, "before Hilary next" Henry sold Richard's marriage to John de Lacy, 
earl of Lincoln and constable of Chester, for his eldest daughter, at the price of 5,000 marks — 
3,000 cash and 2,000 the cancelling of the king's debt in that sum. Finally on Tuesday, 
January 26th, 1238, the king's ward Richard de Clare was with the king's assent married to 
Maud de Lacy, daughter of the earl of Lincoln, whom he dowered with a third of all his lands then 
held by the king or otherwise to come to him. 5 

At the same time Henry also gave his sister Eleanor, the girl widow of William Marshall, earl 
of Pembroke, 6 in marriage to Simon de Montfort, himself then disliked as the newly-landed son of 
a foreigner. Eleanor, moreover, had taken vows of chastity, and for both reasons her remarriage 
caused a great stir of resentment in the country, the saintly Archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund 
Rich, particularly inveighing against the sacrilege of such a remarriage. Richard of Cornwall, 
brother of Eleanor and stepfather of young de Clare, was particularly incensed at both the 
marriages, which were regarded as most high-handed acts of the king. It was with difficulty that 
peace was preserved by the efforts of Cardinal Otho the papal legate, and the earl of Lincoln and 
Simon de Montfort were both removed from the king's council. As for Hubert de Burgh, he lived 
to see this remarriage of his ward, but it is not to be supposed the stout old statesman had 
acquiesced easily in the desertion of his daughter. In 1239 he was still defending himself from the 
accusation of complicity in Richard's marriage and from other accusations, " brought against him 
by the king," says Matthew Paris, " in the hope of wearing an old man to death in order to seize 
his property." 7 He was deprived of three castles in Wales and Hatfield Peverel castle in Essex, 
his choicest possessions; but finally on October 29th, 1239, 8 it is recorded that he had submitted 

1 Liberate Rolls, under date (275). 4 P. R., Oct. 26, 1237 (199—200). 

2 Ann. Mon. T., I., 105 ; " obiit Margarets filia Huberti 5 P. R., 1238 (208). The earl of Lincoln paid apparently 
de Burgo." the first 500 marks of the 3,000 due on Nov. 8 that year 

3 Matt. P. (III., 618—620) gives the substance of Liberate Rolls (348). 

de Burgh's defence under the year 1239, the accusations and 6 She was only 9 when she was espoused to him in 1224, 

defence having dragged on for years. See below. Mar- and a widow at 16. 

garet's body lay one night at St. Alban's Abbey on its way to " Matt. P., III., 618, seq. 

burial, and de Burgh gave a silken pall as an acknowledge- s Ch, R., under date (248). 

ment. Matt. P., VI., 390. 


himself to the ting's grace, who pardoned him for the marriage of Richard de Clare and all other 
offences up to the feast of St. Luke. He survived yet another four years and died at his manor- 
house of Baustead in Surrey full of years and honour, on May 12th, 1243. * 

It is not probable that Richard himself made Blechingley his actual residence very often. No 
doubt he usually came there when in Surrey, but Tonbridge Castle, where in 1258 the old quarrel 
with the Archbishop about the seignorial rights of the lowey was once more up for settlement, 2 
probably more often claimed his presence when in the south. But there is evidence that the 
de Clares about this time were paying some attention to their property at Blechingley : for Roger 
de Clare had in 1233 a gift from the king of two stags and ten hinds in the late earl's park of 
Blechingley to stock or start his park with (ad quendam parcum suwm instaurandum) . The order 
for the gift was issued to the treasurer, Peter de Rivaulx, on March 25th " by the king himself at 
Otford," 3 and quite possibly this fixes the date of the enclosure of the great or South Park. It is 
noticeable that the gift to the Blechingley hermit 4 was dated from Croydon only four days before. 

This Roger is one of the few de Clares, other than the earls, about whom much is known. The 
suggestion that he was interested in Blechingley during his kinsman's minority and actually 
enclosed the South Park is only surmise ; but it does not seem improbable that, although the young 
earl's lands were officially in the hands of de Burgh and afterwards of the king, a near relative 
should have had the practical management of some of them. Roger in any case had other ties in 
the neighbourhood besides those of his own family, for he married Alice, daughter and heiress of 
Odo de Dammartin and widow of John de Wauton (which is Walton-on-the-Hill above Reigate). 
Odo de Dammartin founded Tandridge Priory at some date previous to 1217, 5 and Alice inherited 
from him 5^ knight's fees in Surrey, viz., one apiece in Tandridge, Chipstead, Buckland, Effingham 
and Ockley, with half a fee in Mickleham, all of these being held of the Honour of Clare. 6 Odo's 
widow Margery, presumably Alice's mother, had for dower the three manors of Chipstead, Effingham 
and Mickleham, and there was a fine levied between her and Alice in the autumn of 1231 which, 
being begun in the lifetime of Alice's first husband, de Wauton, was settled (but no date is given) after 
her marriage with Roger. By this agreement Margery gave up Mickleham in return for a yearly 
rental of £4 in Wolkenested. 7 Sir John de Wauton was a man of some importance. He held lands 
in Surrey at Walton-on-the-Hill besides Nether Court manor in Woldingham and lands in Kent. 8 
In 1225 he had been appointed one of the four justices, or as they would be called to-day 
commissioners, to " perambulate " Surrey and ascertain what lands ought to be disafforested and 
what should remain forest, while in 1230, with the seneschal of the Archbishop and the sheriff of 
Kent, he held an assize of arms for that county. 9 Sir John died not long after the fine above 
mentioned, leaving a family however which was perhaps by a previous wife and not by Alice, for on 
October 20th, 1232, it was recorded that the king had granted by fine to John fitzPhilip the custody 
of the lands and heirs of John de Wauton. Roger de Clare was accordingly ordered "to deliver up 
without delay or demur the daughters and heirs of John who (qui, implying at least one son) were 
in his custody." The sheriff of Surrey was further to hand the children over to fitzPhilip wherever 
he found them in his bailiwick. 10 It looks like a case of de Clare acquisitiveness trying to get hold 
of profitable wardships ; but if the children had been his wife's own, perhaps Roger would not have 
been so peremptorily ordered to give them up. That he did so is certain, because in 1235 

1 Ann. Mon. T., I., 130. " See page 49. 3 C. R., 1233 (204). 4 See page 60. 

6 Heale's "Records of Merton," p. 72, Appendix XXX. and XLV. Dug. Mon., VI., 602, says it was founded temp. 
Richard I. and Odo was a great benefactor. 6 Testa de Nevill, 280. 

7 Fines, divers counties, f. 9, 11 — 17 II. III. It contains an interesting list of Godstone tenants. See also under 
Garstone, Chapter IV. 8 C. R., Feb. 17, 1225 (570). Cf. V. C. II., IV., 339, 340. 

,J C. R., 1230, 398-9, which gives a list of arms to be furnished according to wealth. 

10 C. R.,1232 (119). John fitzPhilip had nil the corn that year at Waldiugham (Warlingham), with custody of the lands 
there and a team of (caruca) 8 oxen. 


John EitzPhilip, being abroad as the king's envoy, received a grant of the wardship, in the event of 
his own death, for Lconius his brother Philip's son. 1 Gilbert de Wauton, either the elder son or 
the uncle who served in Brittany, 2 was bringing an assize of novel disseisin in 12-38 against Roger 
and Alice de Clare in "Trumeshal" (Strumpshaw in Norfolk), inherited by Alice from her father, 
Odo de Darnmartin, and held for a knight's fee of the king. 3 Possibly this Gilbert died, for he 
does not appear again and John de Wauton seems to have come of age in 1244, when on May 28th 
order issued to de Lade to hand over to him all his lands in Surrey and Kent then in the king's 
hands as guardian of the late earl of Gloucestershire. 4 John served in Gascony in 1253 and had 
exemption from the shrievalty and all bailiff's offices for life in 1254. Four years later he was one 
of the four knights of the shire appointed under the Provisions of Oxford to enquire into excesses 
and trespasses committed, and in 1260 he served as sheriff of Surrey and Sussex despite his 
exemption. 5 

Roger and Alice de Clare also held lands in Sussex at Wickham and South wick ; fi besides all 
Alice's Surrey land. They held a court at some unspecified place in Surrey, presumably Chipstead 
or Effingham, in 1234, when one William Blundus was resisting their claim on him for suit of 
court. 7 But Roger's own lands were in Norfolk, where he held Norton and Middleton of his 
kinsman's Honour of Clare, and in 1230 the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk was ordered to let Roger 
have reasonable help there from his free men and tenants to maintain himself in the king's service. 8 
For this " service," which was no doubt of varied character, Roger received a regular yearly wage of 
£25 from the exchequer from 1226, 9 and probably earlier ; but in 1230 he received a grant of £15 
in lands (probably the Norfolk land), and the wage was accordingly reduced to £10. 9 It may be 
noticed also that while Roger thus received £25 a yeai*, "his brother Henry de Clare" was also in 
the royal service at an annual wage of £20, 10 and this is the only mention of Henry de Clare that 
has been found. In the spring of 1230 when the king was starting for his expedition to Brittany, 
Roger, presumably as being left on special service in England, was excused his scutage of 
three marks for one knight's fee in Norton. 11 He was less in favour next year however, for among 
several identical royal letters from Marlborough to various people expressing displeasure at their 
non-appearance at court that Easter, there is one special to Roger alone, reproaching him in much 
stronger terms, recalling the king's recent favours and Roger's deep obligations, and ending with 
strict injunctions to present himself within a fortnight, ready to start for whatever place he might 
be ordered to. 13 

Roger probably married Alice in the autumn of 1232 ; it was on October 20th of that year 
that the order issued for him to surrender de Wanton's children, and perhaps the king had 
then not yet forgotten the Easter failure of the previous year. In January 1234 Roger was 
probably on the Welsh campaign, for he was at Shrewsbury and had protection while there on 
king's service. 

He was not north very long, but one incident of his stay is on record. A horse of his loaded 
with hay — " cum quoclam summagio feni " — ran into a man on Shrewsbury bridge and knocked him 
into the river, where he was drowned. 14 Roger's horse was seized, presumably as a " deodand," and 

1 P. R., Oct. 18, 1235 (120). 10 Liberate Rolls, 1228 (77). 

= See Chapter IV. » C. R., April 26, 1230 (346). 

3 C. R., April 6, 1238 (40). Testa de Nevill (283, > 3 C. 11., March 28, 1231 (5S0). 

294). 13 See Eyton's " Shropshire," XI., 139. P.R.., Jan. 28, 

4 C. R., May 28, 1244 (191). 1234 (38). 

5 P. R., 1258— 66 (G9, 153, 327, 347, 491). M " Submersus," explaiued by Ducange as iirofyvxios, 
* C. R., 1231 (578). which does not seem necessarily to imply drowning, but the 
7 C. R., 1234 (549). forfeiture of the horse does, because any animal or thing which 
3 C. R., Feb. 5, 1230 (291). caused a person's death was forfeit to be sold for the benefit of 
9 Liberate Rolls, Oct. 28, 1226 (1), and April 19, 1230 the poor or for masses for the dead, and so was called "a gift 

(177) . due to God," or deodand. 

K 2 



valued at ten shillings. Apparently, however, Roger got his horse back without paying, for though 
he was held to answer for the money to the justices at Shrewsbury when next in those parts, 
a pardon from the king, with an order to the justices in eyre not to trouble him further in the 
matter, closed the incident, no doubt to Roger's satisfaction, if not to that of the relatives of the 
luckless and nameless victim. 1 

On April 20th the same year (1234) Roger was summoned among many others to Portsmouth 
to take part in the expedition then preparing under the count of Brittany against the French, 
being called on to provide another knight besides himself. 2 In 1236 he had two stags from earl 
Richard's park at Hundon (Suffolk) as a gift from the king, whose escheator de la Lade was still 
in possession there, but these were probably only venison and not stock for the new park. 3 Roger 
died in or before August 1241, his lands in Norfolk and Suffolk being taken over on August 13th, 
when his widow Alice had for dower one third of the Norfolk lands held of earl de Clare, then 
a minor and king's ward. Next January she agreed to pay 200 marks to the king at the rate of 
£25 a year to have seisin of Roger's lands in " Middilton," Norfolk, till his heirs were of age or 
married. 4 

Castle Hall Manor in Middleton came to the de Clares as Giffard property, and it is worth 
noting that Henry Carbonel and Thomas de Warbling ton, both being names found in Blechingley 
and families which intermarried, also held land here about this time. 5 

No reference has been found to any children of Roger except that just quoted about the 
Middleton lands, which may quite possibly be " common form " by a clerk, who did not know 
whether there were any or not. But the Victoria County History of Surrey has credited Roger 
with holding lands in Shere and elsewhere some years after his death, and as this has been done by 
reading Clare for Clere both in Pines and in Testa de Nevill the mistake is worth correcting. 6 

Since Roger's parentage is not proved (though there seems little doubt that he was earl Roger's 
son, and so young earl Richard's great-uncle), it is as well to say that the Patent Rolls in 1229 
(p. 302) record a case of disputed ownership of land between the parson of Stradishall in Suffolk 
and some dozen defendants, among whom is Roger, son of Robert de Clare. But it seems self- 
evident that they are all small local men, such as Walter the chaplain, Walter le Messer, Roger the 
carpenter, and Robert merely took his name from his place of origin without any relationship to 
the great family. Here also it may be noted that a " Dominus " Roger de Clare occurs on April 1st, 
1300, as the channel of king Edward's offering, valued at 7s., in the royal chapel at Westminster. 7 

1 C. R., March 22, 1234 (397). 

- C. R., April 20, 1234 (558), " se altero." 

3 C. R., July 18, 123C (289). 

4 Excerp. Rot. Fin., I., 350, 361, 364. 

6 Blomfield's "Norfolk," IX., 28 (1808). 

r ' Roger de Clere, whose name perhaps came from Kings- 
clere or Highclere in Hampshire, was son of Ralph and nephew 
of Roger de Clere, who married Hawisia do Gouruay and gave 
her Lasham (in Hants) in dower about 1175 (Pipe Roll, 
21 H. II., 194). Despite the remainder to the de Cleres she 
alienated to the Dabernons, and at her death in 1207 Ralph de 
Clere consequently only succeeded in getting half the manor 
with the advowson. Sir Roger de Clere succeeded his father 
Ralph, and in 1243 (or two years after Roger de Clere was 
dead) sold to John de Gatesden, whose daughter Margaret 
married John de Camoys, and so brought half Lasham to that 
family. This was not Roger de Clere's only sale to John de 
Gatesden, for in 1245 he levied a fine in Shere and Crawley in 
his favour, and this makes the identifioation still more certain. 
See V. C. II., Hants, IV., 82, under Lasham ; Surrey Fines, 
is. A. C„ p. 215, 62. 

The name de Clere, though not so well known as de Sancto 
Clero (with which Clare is also sometimes confused, as in 
Archseologia LXI. (1909), 501, 529), is quite distinct from 
Clare. Unfortunately the index of Surrey V. C. H. under 
Clere merely says " see Clare," and the index of Hants V. C. H. 
cross references Clere and Clare. In the text of Vol. III. the 
references on pp. 92, 113, 118, 120 all undoubtedly belong to 
Clere, and Clare is wrong. In Testa de Nevill Roger de Clere 
held \\ knight's fees in Brumleye of the king in chief and 
l£ in Shere of the honour of Warren, while Alice de Ham- 
martin held b'z knight's fees in Buckland, one apiece in 
Tandridge, Ockley, Chipstead and Effingham, and half a fee 
in Mickleham ; while as Alice, widow of Roger de Clare, 
she held one fee in Norton (Suffolk) of Hugh de Viuon, 
who held of the honour of Boulogne. (Testa de Nevill, 280, 
292, etc.) 

7 Edward I. Wardrobe Accounts, 1299-1300. Soc. of 
Antiq., 1787, p. 33. On Easter Day, April 10, he and the 
queen offered 5*. at St. Alban's Abbey Church. Brother Peter 
de Clare, p. 43. 


This was conceivably a son or grandson, in any case a priest (dominus). A "brother Peter de 
Clare," who occurs in the same account, was probably merely a native of Clare. 

So few de Clare monuments remain, those at Tewkesbury (not reckoning the stained glass) 
being with only one exception modern, though undoubtedly over or close by the original graves, 
that two memorials at Great Carhrook in Norfolk must be noticed. It was there that Maud, wife 
of earl Roger de Clare, founded a preceptory of Knights Templars, and there may still be seen two 
very ancient coffin stones, each bearing the cross pattee which marks a Templar's grave. The 
imperfect circumscriptions on them, in capitals (which Blomfield held to have been cut long after 
they were first laid, perhaps on being replaced after the rebuilding of the church, circa 1450), shew 
them to be memorials of Maud the foundress and her son, very probably the Roger just noticed, 
who may well have been a commander of the house. These two stones, which appear to be of 
Sussex marble or Purbeck, lie in tbe midst of the chancel, the mother towards the north side, where 
the founder would be buried, the son on her right, that is, south of her, as she faces east. Blom- 
field says the fact that there were no insciiptions put on the stones at the time of burial indicates 
the celebrity and importance of the persons, but Mr. C. R. Manning 1 says that the narrow Roman 
capitals with occasional "Lombardic" forms are quite consistent with a date of about 1200, and 
that there is no reason to suppose they were cut in the fifteenth century. If one belongs to Roger 
it must be as late as 1241. The countess's inscription is unfortunately mutilated, but reads: — 

Mater Clarensis generoso [i quo] milite claram 
Anglia se jactat hie tumfulata jacet]. 2 

Here lies entombed a mother of that famous name 

Of knightly Clare, whose race makes England's vaunted fame. 

So Jocelin's pun on the family name appears again. The son's inscription reads : — 

A dextris natus requiescit matris humatus 

Hunc petiit portum proprium revolutus in ortum. 

Here at his mother's right the son lies buried at rest, 

This was the port — his own — he sought, turned east near his mother's breast. 

The writer, probably himself a Templar, plays on the words porlum and ortum as meaning, the 
first, both the harbour of the Templars' house and of the mother's home ; the second, both the east 
and the source of birth. 

The de Clare arms were still in this church in 1650 . 3 

Richard de Clare was not yet sixteen when, as already seen, he married Maud de Lacy in 
January 1238, and his eldest child Isabel (who married William de Ponteferrato in 1257) was born 
in May 1240.* That year he seems to have been ill, and received a gift of two stags by the king's 
order from his bailiff William de Munceals. 5 Perhaps this gave him a taste for the royal venison, 
for the following year he was pardoned a fine of 100s. for forest trespass in Northamptonshire. 
The Forest Charter had abolished the old capital punishment for killing a deer, substituting fine, or 
imprisonment for a year and a day, but the fact of so big a man as de Clare being fined shews how 
strictly the king still clung to his forest rights. 

In 1242 Richard went on the Gascony campaign with the king, but Henry's methods of warfare 
were always desultory, and the barons soon began to beg leave for urgent private affairs at home . 

1 In " Notes and Queries," S. V., xi., 406. 3 Blomfield's " Norfolk," II., 334-5 (ed. 1808). 

2 The brackets shew a conjectural restoration by Mr. 4 Aim. Mon. T., I., 117 and 162 
Manning, but this does not seem to construe, and "generis" s C. R., July 28, 1240 (209). 

is wanted, for which there does not seem to be space on the c C. R., 1241 (301). 

stone, allowing for interval between words. " Generoso " 
suggests itself, though it seems awkward without the relative. 


Young Richard was more attached to his stepfather Richard of Cornwall than to the king, and 
when the two brothers fell out and Cornwall left Gascony de Clare came home with him. 

There were disturbances in Wales that year, Hoel ap Mereduk and Rese ap Grifin marauding 
in Glamorgan. Richard was probably abroad and did not go himself, but at the end of July sent 
the Abbot of Tewkesbury, William de Cardif and James de Clare with "several others of his special 
friends," who took hostages and made peace as well as they could. 1 James de Clare died on 
May 25th 1259,- but no other mention of him has been found, and his place in the de Clare pedigree 
is not known. Possibly James, the subject of the Becket miracles in 1171, survived, and this James 
might be his son or grandson, in which case he would have been the young earl's first cousin once 
removed or second cousin, a relationship which seems better to fit the mention of him among 
" special friends " than that of an uncle would do. 

But although Richard had now served in two campaigns and was a " family man " he was still 
in tutelage. The king had hastened to arrange a marriage so profitable to the royal exchequer, but 
he continued to hold the de Clare lands from which, as feudal custom sanctioned, he took all the 
income for his own behoof after discharging all outgoings in the administration of the estate. To 
the young heir he allowed a } r early sum of 200 marks for maintenance — not very much from so great 
a property — and after Richard's marriage de la Lade was ordered to advance him two years' allow- 
ance (400 marks) as from Easter 1239. 3 But the feudal guardian was in so far a trustee that he 
might not commit waste of his ward's estate, and so was not entitled to cut timber for his own 
benefit. Thus in August that same year Henry ordered the immediate conveyance of six oak trees 
for repairs to the Tower of London, which " Richard de Clare has given to the king in his forest of 
Tonbridge." * The yearly fruits of the property the king enjoyed regularly, and moreover he got 
the last possible penny out of them, for order issued from Bordeaux on June 26th 1243 to Walter 
de Gray, Archbishop of York and Justiciar, the Bishop of Carlisle (Walter Mauclerk) and William 
de Cantilupe to sell all the corn on Richard de Clare's lands to provide money against the king's 
return to England. 5 The Justiciar accordingly issued the order to de la Lade on July 19th and no 
doubt the king got the money, but it was fairly sharp practice, for Richard came of age a fortnight 
later on August 4th. The king was then still abroad, so the eager heir's messengers returned 
empty handed and Richard only got livery after doing homage at Winchester on September 28th, 
1243, when de la Lade had orders to hand over all the de Clare lands held either by the king or by 
Richard's stepfather the earl of Cornwall. 6 Meanwhile Richard's eldest son Gilbert (afterwards 
the Red earl) had been born on the morrow of St. Giles's day, September 2nd, 1243, at Christchurch, 
Hants, so de Clare was provided with both estates and heir in the same month, but he was not even 
so in possession of his full inheritance, and was still styled simply Richard de Clare. 

It may well be that a masterful young nobleman, who was already a bridegroom for the second 
time before the age of 17, found a paltry 200 marks a year very insufficient means for the display 
he judged befitting for the future earl of Gloucester and the stepson of the king's brother, who was 
the richest man in England. If so the Jews would readily, at a price, oblige a lad with such golden 
prospects, and if Richard ran into debt he was not the first and certainly not the last man who, 
starting with extravagance in youth, became gradually infected with the grasping money-grubbing 
nature which seems to have become stronger in time as he grew older. At any rate it is on record 
that Richard had already had dealings with the Jews in 1244, when on May 22nd a conference 
(loquela) between him and Isaac of Norwich was deferred for six months, as de Clare was going to 
Wales on arduous king's business. 7 So Richard's private affairs, of which state records afford this 

1 Ami Mon. T.. I., 121. Boles Gascons, St. Michel, I., 1828. 

2 lb., 1CH. '' Holes Gascons, St. Michel, I., 1521, and C. R. under 

3 Liberate Rolls, Jan. 18, March 5, 1239 (860,869 and 370). date (44). Cf. Ann Mon. T., I., 130. 
* Liberate Rolls, Aug. 9, 1239 (406). 7 C. R. under date (846). 


glimpse, with the above attempt to explain it, fade out of sight again, and the scene shifts once 
more to the hereditary fighting grounds of his family. 

The Welsh were now again in arms under Llewelyn's son David, and young Richard was joined 
with the veteran John of Monmouth in command of the campaign against them. 1 The 
warfare was fierce and long with varying successes, hut no doubt de Clare spared no personal 
exertions, and shewed all the unquestioned courage of his race. By the spring of 1245 the English 
forces had advanced as far as Conway, and that Whitsuntide the king held high festival in London 
and dubbed Richard knight amid great rejoicings, when the young lord was attended by no fewer 
than 40 esquires (tirones)." He was then also no doubt invested with his hereditary earldoms, and 
having in that July a gift of ten deer from the royal forest of Dean 3 was for the first recorded time 
styled earl of Gloucester. The grant of the third penny for Gloucestershire (worth yearly £20) 
and for Hertfordshire (worth yearly £23 Is. 8d.) followed on August 27th, 4 and so Richard came at 
last to the full enjoyment of his hereditary honours and emoluments nearly 15 years after his 
father's death, and more than two years after his own majority. 

1 C. R., July 10, 1244 (256, 258). 3 C. R., July 13-12, 1245 (328 and 326). Matthew says 

3 Matt. P., IV., 418-9. In the original MS. Richard's Richardurn de C, jam uomitem, balteo cinxit militari. 

sword and shield, or, three chevrons gules, are figured in the 4 C. R. under date (337). 

margin . 


IV. — Earl Richard (continued). His wealth; his avarice ; his moderation ; his death in 1262. 

Richard de Clare, 7th earl of Gloucester and 5th earl of Hertford, was now quite one of the 
greatest and richest men in England, and some idea of his wealth may be gathered from the state- 
ment that on the marriage of the king's daughter in 1244 he paid scutage of £1 apiece on no fewer 
than 274 knight's fees, besides 43 as his moiety of the honour of Giffard. The following year 
brought him another huge increase by his inheritance, through his mother, of a one-fifth share 
of the Marshall lands, including the Kilkenny estates in Ireland. His influence was, like his 
father's, used to curb the royal power, thwart the foreign favourites and resist the aggression of 
the pope. 

Indeed at this date the ills and abuses in the country were growing apace. On the one hand the 
king levied tolls and taxes for his foreign expeditions and insatiable foreign favourites ; while on 
the other the Pope, not content with Peter's pence, exacted heavier contributions from the clergy, 
and filled benefices "by provision " anticipating the death of the actual holder, with Italian priests, 
who neither did the duty nor kept up the churches. 

At this period the presentations made by bishops and other ecclesiastical owners of advowsons 
were no doubt the best, especially when made by such men as Edmund Rich, Archbishop of 
Canterbury 1234 — 40, or Grossetete, Bishop of Lincoln 1235—53. Pluralism was rarely allowed, 
and only under strict provisions for vicarious service ; the ideal of the resident rector who spent 
the revenues of the living on the parish being kept in view. One good instance of how Grossetete 
strove against corrupt presentations may be related here since it bears directly on the de Clares. 
In 1241 the Abbot of Tewkesbury, who was of course a de Clare man, was proposing to present to 
the vicarage of Great Marlow, then just fallen vacant, Gilbert de Clare, a minor (pupillus). This 
Gilbert, a younger brother of earl Richard, was born on September 13th, 1229, 1 and was thus some 
twelve years old. The abbot being in London, where many bishops were gathered together, con- 
sulted Grossetete as to the preferment, but to his surprise and chagrin was met with stern opposition. 
The vicarage was actually in Grossetete's huge diocese, but presumably he could not absolutely 
forbid a presentation on which the patron was set ; as a compromise therefore the bishop suggested 
that young Gilbert should have 26 marks (£17 6s. 8d.) yearly from the living until such time as he 
was provided by the abbot or other patron with a benefice, either with or without cure of souls. 
Meanwhile the abbot was to present a fit priest (unum idoneum presentaret) . 2 Thus Grossetete 
secured his principle of a resident incumbent in place of a probably underpaid " locum tenens " at 
a sacrifice of cash which may be taken to represent the best terms he could secure ; and if the 
vicarage was then worth what it was returned at, viz., 50 marks (£33 6s. 8d.) in the "Taxatio" of 
1291, he had to throw a full half to the wolves. Earl Richard is not mentioned in the transactions, 
and quite possibly it was the abbot's attempt off his own bat to provide for a scion of the great 
house which meant so much to Tewkesbury; but it might well be an instance of the grasping 
character which Richard was already developing. Two years after another vicar, one William de 
Staneway, was instituted on the abbot's presentation where Grossetete's rolls record the 
reservation to Gilbert de Clare, clerk, of the 26 marks in question and the strict terms on 
which he enjoyed the grant. He was to live in secular estate, conduct himself honourably as 
a clerk, not to marry and not to accept any further ecclesiastical benefice. Eailure to observe these 

1 Ann. Mon. T., I., 72. " Ann. Mon. T., I., 122-3. 


rules involved sacrifice of the pension, which was thereupon to he paid to the vicar. 1 Gilbert 
however perhaps dodged the bishop, for next year he obtained papal dispensation at the request of 
the earl of Cornwall to hold benefices with cure of souls to tbe yearly value of 300 marks." 
Moreover he was then described as clerk in tbe diocese of Worcester, so he must have already 
received other church preferment. He was presumably in minor orders though not yet 17, but it 
seems unlikely that he was ever ordained, for, as will be seen later, he probably left legitimate 
descendants. But the tale illustrates both the efforts of a high-minded bishop and the 
difficulties which beset them, when what would now be called jobbery was the recognised order 
of the day. 

Though nothing further is known for certain of Gilbert, a curious entry in the papal register 
of 1255 records that Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, was allowed to hold two 
benefices in England with cure of souls, besides the church of Kalian in the diocese of Ossory, 
although he was under age, and was moreover to be appointed papal chaplain. 3 Though made out 
in earl Richard's name, it cannot have been meant for him personally, unless the Roman curia was 
so ignorant as not to know the earl's age, for he was then 33, and even Gilbert, his younger 
brother, would have been over 25. Probably, therefore, it was a gift to Richard for one of his 
children — perhaps the notorious Bogo who was a papal chaplain for many years and would, in 1255, 
have been of the discreet age of seven. Whatever the exact truth, the case points shrewdly both to 
Richard's greed and the Pope's carelessness for the country's welfare. 

Next best to the presentations by bishops probably came those made by lay patrons, who 
though they often appointed relatives to " family livings," as a rule appointed a priest who, even if 
a pluralist, at least was an Englishman who knew and provided for the wants of his fellow 
countrymen. Where religious houses owned an advowson circumstances probably varied widely. 
If the church was close to the patron monastery it would very likely be served by such monks as 
were in priest's orders ; and unless the discipline of the house were corrupt the parish would 
probably be well looked after. If at a distance it might perhaps be served by priestly monks who 
resided a few months at a time, when a succession of locum tenentes would not make for efficiency. 
More frequently a vicar or perpetual curate would be installed, when the personal character of the 
priest would probably be good, but his stipend too often cut down to a mere pittance, the monks 
keeping the lion's share for their own use. Too often also livings would be bestowed by an abbot 
or prior with an axe to grind on some scion of a great house, as in the story of the Abbot of 
Tewkesbury and young Gilbert de Clare just related. 

Next in the descending scale were the royal presentations, made unblushingly to reward secular 
services, as the history of Blechingley advowson shews. And last and worst were the papal 
appointments of Italians and other foreigners, who perhaps never even visited their cures and 
allowed church and parsonage to fall to ruin. 

It was Innocent IV. (Sinibaldo Fiesco, pope 1243 — 54) who made these " provisions " 
systematic, appointing papal nephews and chaplains, and subdeacons or cardinals' nominees, with 
shameless nepotism to English livings ; while in the ten and a half years of his pontificate he 
granted no fewer than 302 licences to hold livings in plurality in England. 

According to Matthew Paris, Grossetete calculated in 1252 that the yearly value of benefices 
held by aliens was over 70,000 marks (£46,666 13s. 4d.) } or more than three times the king's own 
revenues.* This sum can only be held a gross exaggeration on Matthew's part, since the following 
May (as a direct result apparently of Grossetete's complaint) the Pope wrote both to defend his 

1 Rotuli Koberti Grosseteste, Cant, and York Soc. (1913), p. 362, "quoad vixerit in habito seculari et honeste ut clericus se 
gesserit et uxorem non duxerit et uberius beneficium eoclesiasticum non receperit." Gt. Mario w is called a rectory in this register, 
but it is a vicarage. 

2 Pap. Keg., March 7, 1244 (207). 3 Pap. Keg., May 8, 1255 (317). 4 Matt. P., V., 355. 



" Provisions " and to undertake to limit them in future to 8,000 marks a year. Matthew describes 
the letter as " aliquantulum mitigatoricc" 1 which seems as much an understatement of a reduction 
of more than seven-eighths as the first sum probably is an exaggeration of the true owe. As the 
Master of Baliol observes, 8,000 is not an arithmetical mean between 70,000 and 0.* But it must 
not be forgotten that the actual value of the benefices was very far from representing the whole 
loss, which brought in its train neglected parishes and crumbling churches. 

The political songs of the day reflect the satirical hatred of the Soman domination, the vicious 
feebleness of which is summed up in one quatrain from a long Latin tirade on the corruptions of 
these times. 

Roma turpitudinis jacens in profundis 

Virtutes prseposterat opibus inunundis, 

Vacillantis animi fluctuans sub undis 

Diruit asdificat, inutat qu&drata rotundis. 3 

" Home wallowing in the lowest depths of shame 
Puts filthy gain above fair virtue's fame, 
And flound'ring in the maze of her inconstant will, 
Sets up, pulls down, and changes madly still." 

So the state of things had grown intolerable, and in this year 1246 the whole country joined 
in letters of remonstrance to the Pope. The bishops, who but the year before had attended the 
General Council at Lyons, wrote that the people preferred death to the continuance of such abuses 
and infringements of their national rights ; the abbots and priors, with many scriptural quotations, 
wrote fearing general risings and even schism ; while the nobles, for themselves, the clergy and 
people, declared that unless a remedy was at once applied the evil would be past all cure by Rome. 
Richard of Cornwall, Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester, Humphrey de Bohun earl of Hereford 
and Essex, Roger le Bigod earl of Norfolk, Richard earl of Gloucester and Hertford, Roger 
earl of Winchester, William earl of Albemarle, and Hugh earl of Oxford were the signatories to 
the nobles' letter, while Henry himself wrote a fourth letter setting out the "incomparable clamour" 
of the country, and rather apologetically declaring that both the Roman church and himself were 
in the direst peril, unless heed were paid to it. 

These remonstrances extorted the concession that in all future appointments made by the Holy 
See the king of England should be first consulted, and the mutterings of discontent died gradually 
away ; but the letters shew how deep-seated opposition to fresh papal exactions was, even 
though the Pope was still regarded as supreme, and how entirely Richard was on the side of 

Another instance of his discontent and hatred of the foreigner was the tournament planned 
next year near Dunstable with Guy de Lusignan, which was so evidently designed as a private 
battle that Henry interfered and forbade it ; and again a tournament against William de Valence 
at Northampton in November, which was also forbidden.* 

The Great Council (later called Parliament) met in London in February 1248, and Richard was 
then among those who took the king to task for his misrule and exti-avagance, but in April he 
crossed the Channel on a pilgrimage with his brother William, the treacherous Walter de Scotenay, 
Nicholas de Lewkenor and others, and had a letter of protection till after midsummer. 5 At some 

1 Matt. P., VI., 260. out the long poem of 160 lines this closing hexameter is 

* " Church and Stato in the Middle Agei." A. L. Smith. frequently if not alwa3'« a quotation. 

Oxford, 1913, 129-30. 4 Matt. P., IV., 633 and 649. 

a Pol. Songs, Camden Soc, SO. The laat line of the ' P. It., April 20, 1248 (12). 

quatrain is quoted from Horace (Ep. I., i. 100), and through- 


time in this year he had an affray with royal servants near Newbury, but no more is told of it 
beyond the bare fact, and the entry seems curious. 1 

In 1249 he made a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Edmund at Pontigny, in Champagne, and 
the Tewkesbury monks borrowed 100 marks (£66 13s. 4d.) of the Jews for him, for £100. 2 He was 
home again about midsummer, and there was some delay or difficulty about the repayment which 
was still due at the end of the year. This journey was not only a pilgrimage to the shrine of a 
Saint, but also a tribute of affection to a political ally and a personal friend, for St. Edmund of 
Pontigny was Edmund Rich, Archbishop of Canterbury, canonized — more deseiwedly than 
many Saints — in 1248, only eight years after his death and some ten years after he had 
withdrawn from England wearied at the ill-success and apparent hopelessness of his efforts for 

That Christmas Richard kept with almost royal splendour in Wales, somewhere near 
Gloucester, probably at ITsk, 3 and in January 1250 he again went to France in the train of Richard 
of Cornwall, when they progressed through the country in great state with forty knights all dressed 
alike in new robes on magnificent horses, covered with gold. Blanche, Queen of France, met them 
most amicably and they went as far as Lyons, where Richard of Cornwall and Richard de Clare 
dined with the Pope. The object of this expedition is rather obscure. It was said afterwards to 
have been at Innocent's invitation and to broach the idea of Cornwall becoming king of the 
Romans; but it seems to have been partly in support of Grossetete against the Pope's interference 
with his episcopal jurisdiction in England, an object with which Richard would certainly have been 
in sympathy. 1 On this expedition Richard took a retinue of two knights, Walter de Scotenay 
again, and Roger de Clifford, and had a letter of protection for himself and them. 5 Cornwall was 
back in England before the end of April, though Grossetete remained abroad. According to the 
Tewkesbury chronicle (more likely to be accurate in such a devotional matter than Matthew Paris, 
who says he returned with Cornwall), de Clare went on pilgrimage to Compostella, reaching the 
shrine on March 5th — the very day the king took the cross—and landing again in England on 
St. Swithin's day, July 15th, 1250. 6 

The same year he settled a dispute with the Abbot of Tewkesbury about the right of infangthef 
or punishment of thieves taken on the Abbey's lands, allowing the jurisdiction and gallows-right of 
the abbey; 6 but there were other disputes about the chase and manor of Cranbourne-cum-Boveridge 
which were still at issue. 

1250. On All Saints' Day Richard acted as seneschal and butler at the solemn enthronization 
of Boniface Archbishop of Canterbury, the Savoyard uncle of the queen, who had been appointed 
ten years before and had never taken up the office. This service is expressly stated to have been 
by hereditary right, 7 which shews clearly that he was a tenant of the Archbishop somewhere, even 
if he denied his overlordship at Tonbridge. 

Either at this time or a few years after that question was settled, though not even then finally 
disposed of, as will be seen later. The agreement, dated 1258, and still among the documents of 
the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, 8 records that Richard and his successors were to hold 
Tonbridge under the Archbishop by homage, service of four knights' fees, and suit of court ; they 
were to be High Marshal and Chief Butler to the Archbishop and his successors at their 
enthronization, and to do suit at the Archbishop's Court at Otford for the manor of Brasted (Kent), 
but this agreement was to be without prejudice to the Prior and convent of the Church of Christ at 
Canterbury. For his services as High Seneschal the earl was to have 7 scarlet robes, 30 measures 

1 Ann. Mon. T., I., 137. " Faotus est congressus inter 4 Matt. P., V., 96-7 (HO, 117-118). 

satrapes regis et comitem Ric. Glouc. juxta Neubyriam." 5 P. R., March 1250 (61). 

* Ann. Mon. T., I., 137-138. 6 Ann. Mon. T., I., 140-111 (140). 

3 Matt. P., V., 47. In partibus Wallise coiiterniinis juxta 7 Ann. Mon. T., I., 140. 

(Jloverniam. » 5th Report of Hist. MSS. Com., 458. 



(sextaria) 1 of wine, 50 lbs. of wax for his own lighting, free corn and bay for 80 horses for two 
nights, whatever remained in the larder after the banquet, when the account had been received, and 
the dishes and salt cellars which the seneschal had placed before the Archbishop for the first course 
of the banquet. For his services as butler he was to have the robes already specified, all the empty 
casks, as well as all that had been drunk below the bar, 2 also free board and lodging at the nearest 
manor of the Archbishop anywhere he chose in Kent for three days after the feast, at the Arch- 
bishop's expense, should he desire to be let blood, 3 and he was also to have the cup which he had 
served as butler to the Archbishop at table. 

The agreement affords a glimpse of the great feudal lord moving across the country with his 
huge retinue of armed and mounted servants, and the Gargantuan feast, which doubtless lasted 
practically all day and certainly necessitated the observance of Mr. Jorrocks' maxim of " Where 
I dines, I sleeps," even if the thoughtfully provided chance of recovering from surfeit of meat and 
liquor was not necessary afterwards. 

That winter (1250) at "Hanlege" Richard knighted William de Wilton and Peter le Botiler, 
a not very uncommon instance in those days of the king not being the sole fount of honour. His 
own brother William was knighted in London at Christmas.* This Le Botiler then or later held 
lauds in Blechingley. 

1251. Next year Richard exacted an aid for the marriage of his daughter. It was apparently 
a high- handed act, for there was no bridegroom in prospect ; but the king having just levied 
tallage for his daughter Margaret's marriage to Alexander III. king of Scotland, perhaps started the 
idea, which recent dealings with the Jews doubtless made very acceptable. He valued all his villein 
tenures and their yearly services everywhere " to the greatest detriment," says the chronicle, " of the 
owners" 1 ; which shews that valuation was already well understood as a precursor to taxation. 

It was in 1251 also that Richard again indulged in a little poaching. A graphic story is told 
in the records of the Justices in Eyre (in Northamptonshire as before), relating how the earl of 
Gloucester was at Rothwell on the day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (September 8th), when 
Robert de Mares, Robert Basset, Robert de Longchamp and John Lovet the Verderer dined with 
him. After dinner the earl went for a walk (spaciatum) in his covert of Micklewood with his friends. 
There Richard uncoupled a couple of hounds (beagles ?, braehettos) which found a hart. De Mares 
and Basset each had (very handily) a leash of (three) greyhounds with them, so they hunted the 
deer as far as the field (? the common field or perhaps simply the land of the parish) of Desborough 
above Rothwell, where the whole township of Rothwell turning out to join in the hunt, spread 
out long nets {fecit stabliam coram dicto ccrvo), 6 and the hart was taken. 

1 The Sextarium was a dry or liquid measure of very 
varying capacity. For corn it was reckoned at a horse load, 
but for wine at only 2 lbs. 8 ozs. (see Ducange, s.v.). If this 
is correct it would be exactly a quart (a gallon weighing 
10 lbs. or J 60 ozs. and a sextarium 40 ozs). 60 quarts seems 
a small two-days allowance among the riders of 80 horses, but 
probably a great many of these would bo pack horses. 

Bishop Slubbs, however (Select Charters, Glossary, ed. 
1913), says that a soxtarius held 4 gallons, which perhaps 
would be more adequate for the retinue, especially if there 
were footmen as well as riders. Bishop Fleetwood (d. 1723), 
iu his Chronicon Preciosuru, says a soxtarius was a gallon. 
Spelman (Glossary) calls soxtarius a quart, or of corn a one- 
horio load valued at 5*., "a seam," which Prompt. Parv. (seam, 
oeme) calli a quarter. A seam moans a quarter of corn to 
thin day in Kent. 

* " Potata usque subtus barram." This reads at first 
sight like " below the first hoop of the barrol," but more 

probably it means " below the bar,' 5 i.e., the division between 
the chief guests and the commoners. 

3 " Prehendationem ad proximum mancrium Archi- 
opiscopi per quatuor partes Kentife, ubicunque voluerit .... 
ad sanguinem minuendum si voluerit." Prehendatio (not iu 
Ducange) is probably the same as Prensio, which means any 
exaction, i.e., payment rightfully demanded from the tenant 
by the lord, and so here would seem to mean " what he liked 
to ask for." 

* Ann. Mon. T., I, 142-3. Probably Hanley Castle in 
"Worcester, near Malvern. 6 Ann. Mon. T., 1., 146. 

6 "Stabiliamentum, stabilia, stabiliatio— a buck-stall or 
deer hay, a sland for shooting deer." But it was a net not a 
stand. "Stablia — a stall." (Martin's Itecord Iuterp.) Here 
stablia clearly = stabilia. " Stabulatum .... Angli Buck- 
stal vocant retis majoris genus." Also Stabilia. Ducange. 
" Nets called door-hays and buck-stalls." Act 19, H. VH., xi. 
S.t. Buckstall- N.E.D. 


The verderer3 reported, and the case duly came before the Justices in Eyre, when they referred 
the matter as regarded the earl to the king, and proceeded to try the case of Roth well ; the 
townships of Desborough, Rushton, G-lendon, Rothwell, Thorpe Underwood and Newbottle being 
all implicated. The three last townships put in no appearance, but the three first came and told 
the tale much as above, further saying that one Henry of Hastyngs had eight greyhounds besides 
de Mares's three, and all eleven ran. There was some conflict of evidence as to whether Sir Robert 
Basset's greyhounds had joined in or not, but the verderers declared they did, and moreover that 
Sir Robert had a side of the hart. 1 Unfortunately no record remains of the result of the trial. 
The story reads rather as if the deer had been mobbed, but it must be remembered that the 
townships would be held responsible if only one or two of their inhabitants were accused, and quite 
clearly the earl's after-dinner hunt gave immense pleasure to the neighbourhood. What the king 
said or did is not recorded, but if Richard had the right of coursing {percursum) , as his son Gilbert 
had 30 years later, he was not guilty of any offence, because although the hart was apparently 
taken on royal demesne it had been started in Richard's own covert. 

This case was hardly over before Richard — through his servants this time — was again, the 
same year, guilty of game trespass. He was journeying northwards to York and his servants 
— Richard the cook, William the Marshal, and Walter the clerk of the chamber, on their way to 
prepare rooms for him at St. Neots, where he was to sleep that night — slipped their hounds and 
took a doe on the Friday before St. Andrew's Day (November 30fch, 1251). The foresters at once 
informed the earl, " who vouched it well " {qui factum Mud bene advocavit) and so it was referred to 
the king. 2 No doubt Richard had a better supper for the trespass and was prepared to defend his 
servants, but it is rather puzzling to find that the case was either still, or else for the first 
time, before the justices in Eyre at Huntingdon in 1255. However, mediaeval justice was always 
very lame. 

Both stories give a good picture of the feudal lord on his travels taking his sport and his food 
where he could get it and making the best of the world without very much regard for meum and 
tuum, and no doubt the poached venison had an added sweetness to its flavour. It may be noted 
that by clause xi of the Charter of Forests (1219) an archbishop, bishop, earl or baron passing 
through a royal forest had the right to take one or two beasts in view of the forester, or failing his 
presence on blowing a horn to shew it was not done secretly. But this licence did not extend to 
servants apparently, and neither case seems to be covered by it. 

That winter he appointed Roger Lovel, who already acted for Tewkesbury Abbey at Rome, as 
his own proctor there, at the Abbot's request; and so it would seem that all the manorial disputes 
with the Abbey were happily settled, and he kept Easter 1252 at Tewkesbury. 3 The Tewkesbury 
chronicle also says that he paid a hurried visit abroad (no country being mentioned, but France no 
doubt) iu aid of his brother William, who had been utterly overthrown in a tournament and had 
lost all his horses and arms : Richard valiantly overcame all his opponents and returned in triumph 
with the recovered spoil, landing in England in mid-Lent, about April 1st. 4 In October he 
imprisoned his chamberlain Miles at Usk " for some crime," but the tantalizing chronicler either 
knew, or preferred to say, no more. 5 

Richard had been named one of the arbiters to decide on the sums due to his friend 
Simon de Montfort for his expenses in Gascony, 6 and he also seems to have defended him from 
the accusations of extortion and treason brought by the Gascons, whom Simon had subdued. 7 This, 

1 Selden Soc, "Select Forest Pleas," I., 99. 6 Ann. Mon. T., I., 149. 

2 Selden Soc, "Select Forest Pleas," pp. 13, 78, 98. 6 Royal Letters (R. S.), II., 68, Jan. 4, 1252, and P. R. 

3 Ann. Mon. T., I., 147. " Master Roger Luvel, king's sime date (124). 
clerk," Ch. R. 1257 (459). 7 Matt. P., V., 289. 

4 Ibid., 151. Easter fell on April 20 in 1252. 


if half what is said of Richard's avarice be true, may possibly have been, at least in part, a business 
transaction, for at the end of 1252 or early in 1253 the abbots of Tewkesbury and Keynsham and 
Prior de Stokes went to London to be surety for Richard in the sum of £11,000 to the king in the 
matter of the projected marriage of young Gilbert de Clave to the king's niece Alice of Angouleme. 1 
Further, on January 29th, 1253, he obtained the king's discharge from a debt of 1,000 marks to 
Simon, which he had incurred on behalf of Edward the king's son. 2 At the same time Henry 
settled a like sum on his niece Alice, 3 daughter of Hugh XI., called Le Brun, count of Angouleme 
and Lusignan, and his wife Yolande of Brittany. Hugh XI. was Henry III.'s half-brother, his 
mother being Isabella, the widow of king John and mother of Henry III. Affianced to Hugh X. 
when John seized her for his wife, Isabella, as has been already seen, had married her first intended 
after John's death, and brought a hungry family of foreigners to feed on English riches and their 
royal brother's bounty. Her granddaughter Alice, who was sometimes given her mother's name of 
Yolande, was now affianced to Richard's son and heir Gilbert, the bridegroom being then not more 
than ten years old and the bride even younger. 

By an agreement made after the feast of St. Hilary (Jan. 13th), 1252, Richard was to receive 
from the bride's father and his two brothers Aymer de Lusignan Bishop elect of Winchester, and 
Sir William de Valence 5000 marks of " good new and lawful sterlings " ; the espousals were to 
take place at Easter 1253 and the mone} r to be paid in instalments by March 1255 ;* but " if 
Gilbert de Clare on attaining 14 years of age or before, shall, in his father's lifetime refuse to 
celebrate the marriage," then all the money paid, together with 2000 marks damages, was to be 
returned to the bride's trustees and provision was also made for her dowry. This boy and girl 
marriage was duly solemnized probably in 1257, and like that of Richard himself with Margaret de 
Burgh, it ended, though not till many years later, in a divorce. 

1253. The arrangement, however, was a triumph for the diplomacy of the king, who was 
always seeking to advance the interests of his foreign relations, and no doubt thought the heir of 
one of the very greatest houses in England cheaply bought for the money. The alliance is deeply 
bewailed by Matthew Paris 5 as a fouling of the pure spring of English blood with wretched foreign 
dregs, and Richard himself is roundly declared to have sacrificed every higher feeling to greed. 
" Young, elegant, eloquent and prudent, versed in statecraft and skilled in all excellence, he should 
have been the hope of the nobility and the darling pride of the nation, but avarice defaced his noble 
nature, and for filthy lucre he sold his boy like a huckster or a moneylender. The traffic cost him 
the confidence and the good opinion of the country." This judgment, severe as it is and perhaps 
exaggerated in its expression, is hard to resist. Richard's position was such that he might have 
been proof against even a king's flattery, and had his patriotism been free from the taint of 
oligarchic self-seeking it is difficult to see why he should have consented to an arrangement, which 
it was utterly beyond the royal power to force upon him, and which seemed so obviously at variance 
with the ideas and principles of his own upbringing. 

Richard crossed to Prance with Willium de Valence to attend the solemn espousals and also to 
take part in a great tournament, when they were to shew off their own strength and courage and 
the paces of their splendid horses ; but, proceeds the monkish chronicler with malicious joy, " they 
were so overthrown, beaten and trampled that they passed their days in hot baths and bandages." 6 
But this righteous retribution quite possibly never befell Richard ; it may be only a garbled version of 
William de Clare's misfortunes the year before, which Richard, according to the Tewkesbury 

1 Ann. Mod. T., I., 151. quoted expressly call hor "Alice daughter of Hugh Le Brun, 

: P. !:., Jan. 29, L253 (174). son of the count of Angouleme, the king's niece." 

' P. It., Feb. 2, 1253 (175). The Tewkesbury Chron. 4 Ch. It., Feb. 5, 1255 (438-9). Inspoximusandconfinna- 

iuxt quoted calls Alice daughter of the king's sister, tion. 

and Mr. Luard in the margin calls hor daughter of Guy ''' Matt. P., V., 3G3-4. 

of Angouleme, but both are wrong, for the Patent Itollu as B Ibid., 367. 


Chronicle, so amply retrieved. It must be remembered that for personal details the Tewkesbury 
monks are more likely to be correct, unless they aught extenuate in benevolence. However this 
may be, the Tewkesbury chronicle says simply that he went abroad for a tournament, alluding 
neither to success or failure, and saying no more either of young Gilbert's marriage, but only that 
Richard was home again by the middle of July, when to Henry's great vexation he declined to 
return to France with him, but went instead to Ireland to see to his own affairs there for a little 
while. 1 He attended a great banquet in London given by Queen Eleanor on January 5th, 1254, to 
celebrate the birth of her daughter Catherine on St. Catherine's day (November 25th). 3 

Henry meanwhile was still campaigning in Gascony with varying success, and becoming 
embroiled with Spain sent home for money and reinforcements. Accordingly Richard of Cornwall 
and de Clare with others promised their aid, 3 although Henry's statements did not inspire confidence, 
and de Clare openly averred that while willing to preserve the king's person from all attacks he 
would be no party to useless acquisitions of territory. In fact Henry's expeditions were always 
financially ruinous, and this was the year which saw not only the entanglements with Spain (which 
were adjusted by Edward's marriage to Eleanor of Castile), 4 but later the wildcat scheme of putting 
Henry's second son Edmund on the throne of Sicily. Richard however crossed over to join the king 
at Bordeaux on September 7th, and was present at the marriage of Edward and Eleanor at Burgos 
in October, kept Christmas with the kings of England, France, and Navarre in Paris, and returned 
home with Henry immediately after. 5 

But among all his journeyings and junketings he did not neglect to make provision for good 
cheer at home, for the good ship St. Mary of Hastings, with Jonas Burgeys as skipper, brought him 
for his personal use 140 tuns of wine that autumn. 6 The king granted this free of all customs duty, 
as being for the earl's own use and not for sale, and no doubt some of this large quantity found its 
way from the south coast to the not very distant cellars of Blechingley Castle. Two years later 
Jonas Burgeys of Winchelsea had leave to bring his shipload of wine home " quit of all prise except 
the ancient prise " 7 : so perhaps de Clare had his wine duty-free regularly. 

But neither Richard's expeditions with the king nor the mercenary marriage arranged for his 
heir seem to have made him more favourable to Henry's schemes; and in that year's Parliament, 
summoned first at Portsmouth, then at Winchester, and last at London, he was the mouthpiece of 
the barons to declare that they would not cross the Channel unless their rights were restored in 
full to them. 8 Henry yielded, and was rewarded with the heaviest tax ever yet granted, viz., one- 
tenth of all ecclesiastical goods in the kingdom. 9 This winter the Abbot of Tewkesbury died, 
when his successor, doubtless by the earl of Gloucester's favour, was the Prior of St. James's at 
Bristol, Thomas de Stokes, who had been Richard's surety the year before, and Richard himself 
welcomed him at the Abbey the following March. 10 

1255. Next year Richard was charged with the relief of Alexander king of Scotland and his 
queen Margaret, daughter of king Henry, who were shut up in the Castle of Edinburgh. He 
accomplished his mission successfully, and safely conducted Margaret to see her father, who went 
north for the purpose. 11 

1256. In May 1256 Richard and the earl of Cornwall were employed by the king in settling 
differences between Archbishop Boniface and the Bishop of Rochester. It was a long business, not 
finally settled till 1259, 12 but no doubt helped to promote concord between Boniface and de Clare. 
That year also Richard was present in Westminster Hall at the solemn excommunication of all who 
should violate Magna Charta (Carta communis libertatum et carta deforesta). Henry himself was 
present with his brother Richard earl of Cornwall, while the name of Richard de Clare earl of 

1 Ann. Mon. T., I., 153. 2 Matt. P., V., 421. 8 Ann. Mon. T., I., 155. 

5 Ibid., 424. 4 Ann. Mon. 13., I., 323. s Ibid., 156. 10 Ibid., 155. 

5 Ibid., T., 154-5. 6 P. R., Oct. 16, 1254 (346). " P. P , Aug. 23, 1255 (423), and Sept, 9, 1255 (441), and 

1 P. P., Nov. 2, 1256 (528). poed., Aug. 10, 1255. la Eegiutr. ltoff., 82, 


Gloucester and Hertford stands next, followed by those of Roger Bigod earl of Norfolk and Suffolk 
and Marshal of England, Humphrey de Bohun earl of Hereford and Essex, John de Warenne earl 
of Sussex and Surrey, and "other magnates of the realm" (whose names are not given), followed 
by a list of the bishops present. Richard was one of four commissioners that year to try the case 
of the sheriff of Northampton, who by torture and imprisonment had extorted untrue confessions 
of cattle stealing from unhappy villains, so as to he able to seize the stock himself. Richard and 
his colleagues condemned the sheriff, but owing to his wife's prayers, hacked by the Scottish king 
and queen, his justly forfeited life and limb were spared. Matthew Paris tells the story at length, 
and describes the horror felt at such enormities being possible. 1 In 1256 also Richard, with Richard 
of Cornwall, Peter of Savoy, and all their brothers was granted a general excuse from all summonses 
or amercements before justices for the rest of his life, a thing Matthew Paris declares plainly 
contrary to all the rights and peace of England. 2 

In was in this year that Richard of Cornwall, whose great wealth, largely drawn from tin 
mines, made him very attractive to the Germans, was invited to stand as a candidate for the 
Imperial honours, and de Clare, Robert Walerand the king's steward, and John Mansel were 
entrusted with a mission to the German princes with plenipotentiary powers on Cornwall's behalf. 3 
De Clare was much attached to the man who had been his mother's husband, and was naturally 
anxious to share in the honour of this great promotion. The mission was successful, most of the 
electors promising to support Cornwall. So he was duly elected and with all solemnity crowned 
as " king of Germany or of the Romans "* at Aachen in the chair of Charlemagne on Ascension 
Day, May 17th, 1257, his wife Sanchia being crowned queen at the same time ; but perhaps de Clare 
was not among the nobles present, for troubles had broken out again on the Marches. 

Llewelyn had stormed one of Richard's castles and put the garrison to the sword, and both 
Henry and de Clare were campaigning in Wales that summer. 5 In June Henry went to Chester, 
then to Cannock, and, after pursuing his usual tactics in warfare by doing nothing while his army 
wasted with disease and the enemy did what they pleased, withdrew from the unequal contest, 
leaving de Clare with orders to march on South Wales. Whether de Clare was disgusted with 
Henry's folly and turned sulky, or whether he was resolved to waste no more lives but to put an end 
to a campaign which the drought and famine of that summer seemed to make hopeless, can now 
only be guessed ; but the Dunstaple chronicle tells the curious tale that he left the army by stealth 
with one attendant, and went to seek an interview with the queen. Henry had left her at 
Nottingham, but "unable to endure the smoke of sea coal there" she had moved to Tutbury, 
nearer to the scene of operations ; here apparently Richard found her, and they presumably 
discussed Henry's military abilities. "So" (apparently there was "no more to be done and no 
more to be said ") " the king and the earl himself returned without honour from Wales about 
Michaelmas." 6 

It is not to be supposed that such exploits made Henry's government stronger or himself more 
respected, and in fact for a long time past his methods had been becoming more and more unpopular. 
His foreign favourites and relations had battened on the land, his concessions to the Pope had 
disgusted the people, and his wild schemes of foreign conquest, with their attendant heavy taxation, 
had alienated the great barons, who once more, as in John's day, stood up for their own interests, 
and in doing so championed the liberties of the commonalty. A whole generation and more had 
now passed since the Great Charter had first definitely limited the royal power ; there had grown 

1 Matt. P., V., 577 — 581. Simon de Montfort earl of Cloverniaeet dominus Johannes Mimsel," and does not mention 
Leicester, Eobert Waleran, and Henry of 13ath were the three Walerand. V., 604. Cf. Ann. Mon. W., IV., 112, for the 
colleagues. German offer subject to payment. 

2 P. R., Nov. 7, 1256 (529) ; Matt. P., V., 594. * Matt. P., V., 640. b Ibid., 642, 645. 

3 P. R., June 12, 1256 (481). Matt. Pari* says: "Pre- 6 Ann. Mob. J)., III., 203-4. 
missi sunt viri poteutes sagaood et circumspecti dominus oomes 


up a much more conscious national feeling, which during Henry's reign made the most remarkable 
development of English life since the Conquest. That feeling found its expression in a stout 
resistance to papal domination, combined with a renewed fervour of religious feeling — in the now 
fully-developed grace and purity of the Early-English style of architecture springing from the more 
cumbrous and comparatively childish Norman: in the now rapidly progressive moulding of what was 
to become the common speech, alike of nobles no longer purely Norman in blood, and of common 
folk, in whose veins the passing of some seven generations had wrought a still more thorough 
fusion : and in the gradual growth of the idea of parliamentary government. This last may almost 
be said to date definitely from 1253, when, besides the tenants in chief, four knights from each 
county were summoned to Oxford to discuss the king's needs. Richard, as a barons' man, was also 
a Parliament man, and alike by birth and training was undoubtedly a staunch and patriotic 
Englishman. In 1246 he had been, as already related, a signatory to the urgent letter of remon- 
strance to the Pope against the abuse of papal authority in England, and he was on de Montfort's 
side in his efforts to check Henry's reckless engagements abroad and faithlessness at home to the 
Great Charter he had sworn to keep. Richard was moreover in strong sympathy with the chief 
religions movement of his day. He was, in fulfilment, it is said, of a promise made in France by 
his father to their superior Dr. Giles, the first to introduce the Augustinian Hermits into England 
in 1248 j 1 and it was the wonderful and rapid spread of the friars' orders throughout western Europe 
which both proved the existence and stimulated the growth of a real spiritual revival against the 
corruption and apathy of the age, for these new orders of travelling preaching brothers frequenting 
towns and market-places strove to leaven and to lighten the hard material lives of the lower classes. 
Certainly Richard was strong on the side of reform both in Church and State, and though often 
abroad or fighting on the Welsh Marches he kept closely in touch with the growing movement to 
curb Henry's recklessness. Indeed the country groaned under royal exactions, barons, priests and 
people together, and hated his foreign favourites and relations. 

Henry's appointment to the see of Winchester of his young half-brother Aylmer (Ethelmar) de 
Valence, whom he had terrified the monks into electing in 1250, was a national scandal. The 
young man was not in orders, quite illiterate, and below the canonical age at the time of his 
election, and he had deliberately chosen to remain bishop elect, but not consecrated, so as to enjoy 
the proceeds of the wealthy bishopric, a proceeding sanctioned by Innocent IV. in order to secure 
Henry's support against the emperor. The king's wicked covenant with the Pope in 1254, by 
which he bound England under a fine of 140,000 marks to assist in the conquest of Naples and 
Sicily, had provoked deeply smouldering discontent. The prolonged drought and consequent 
famine and misery of 1257 fanned it; next year it broke into flame. A strongly worded letter was 
despatched to Alexander IV. signed by Richard and Simon de Montfort, first of all the great 
barons who joined in it, praying the immediate removal of Ethelmar. At the meeting of Parliament 
in London that April insults and very nearly blows were exchanged between William de Valence on one 
side and de Clare and de Montfort on the other, the king himself actually interposing to calm their 
fury. 3 The barons leagued together, and when the so-called Mad Parliament met again at Oxford 
on June 11th, 1258, they extorted from Henry the famous Provisions of Oxford. These provisions 
made the justiciary, the chancellor and the guardians of the royal castles directly responsible to 
and under the orders of a new council. Yearly accounts were to be furnished to this by the 
treasurer ; annual sheriffs were appointed in every county, in whose courts the administration 
of justice was to be free ; parliaments were to assemble every year, whether summoned by the king 
or no, and the commonalty were to elect twelve honest men to come to Parliament, and on other 
occasions as sent for, to treat of the king's needs and of the kingdom. A royal edict on 

1 Capgrave, de illustribus Henricis, R.S., Appendix IV., 226-7. 2 Matt. P., V., 67C-7. 



October 18th, 1258, the first preserved in the English tongue, and the only English proclamation 
issued by Henry III., declared the new council's authority and called on all lieges to hold and defend 
their acts, and Simon de Montfort's name, followed by Richard's, headed the list of assenting barons 
attached to it. 1 Richard was one of these twelve trustees for the reformation of the estate of the 
realm, and they named another twelve who with them formed the council. By degrees this 
council took over all the royal power ; it forbade all further payments, secular or ecclesiastical, to 
the Pope, made peace with France at the cost of renunciation of all claims to the lost provinces, 
and stopped the incursions of the Welsh. So insistent were Richard and his colleagues on the 
provisions that the king of Germany, coming to England that year with his wife and family, was 
compelled, or at least induced, to promise adhesion to them before he was allowed to land at 
Dover. There he disembarked on January 27th, 1259, with his wife Sanchia, his son Edmund and 
the very small retinue of two German counts, with three knights apiece and eight knights 
attendant on himself. Even so he was not allowed to enter Dover Castle, and next day was 
conducted to Canterbury, where in the chapter house the earl of Gloucester, chosen no doubt as 
his step-son and close friend, administered the oath to him with all formality and courtesy, 
carefully, however, addressing him as earl of Cornwall and not as king of Germany. 3 But, despite 
all their precautions, the new and cumbrous government set up by the barons was not destined 
to last long. 

This year Richard aided the Franciscans (Greyfriars) iu a forcible settlement at St. Edmunds- 
bury against the will of the great Benedictine Abbey there. 3 The newcomers had secured the 
consent of the Pope, and Richard was always a friend to the friars ; but no doubt the powerful 
Abbey and the lord of the honour of Clare Avere near enough neighbours to have causes of 
dispute, and Richard's friendship to the Greyfriars was probably strengthened by dislike of the 
Abbey. But there was no room for two kings in Brentford, and, despite the support of Richard 
and queen Eleanor, the Greyfriars settlement stayed at Bury only a few years.^ 

June 1258 saw the marriage of Richard's daughter Isabel to William marquis of Ponteferrato, 
at Lyons, whither she went attended by William Bekeford, a Tewkesbury monk, when her father 
gave her a dowry of 4,000 marks. 5 Richard was also this year reappointed Keeper of the Isle of 
Portland and town of Weymouth and Wyke. 6 

But a less pleasant event that summer nearly made it his last. Soon after the Oxford 
Parliament had broken up, a gathering of nobles, including Edward the king's son, took place at 
Winchester, and there at table poison was put by someone in their food. 7 Edward was probably 
not at the meal, or at any rate escaped, but Richard de Crokesleye Abbot of Westminster, and 
William de Clare both died the same day, while Richard himself was saved by a timely antidote. 8 
Thanks to John of St. Giles, a friar preacher and skilled leech, he survived, retiring to Sonning to 
recover, in the deepest grief for his brother's death ; there he was for a long while very ill and lost 
all his hair and nails. 9 The strongest suspicion fell on Sir Walter de Scottenay or Scotenay, 
Richard's own chief counsellor and marshall, whom William de Clare proclaimed his murderer 
almost with his dying breath. De Scottenay was a much trusted companion of Richard ; his 
comrade on pilgrimages in 1248 and 1250 — a man of considerable wealth and importance, having 
exemption from all services on juries for life in 1251, doubtless as de Clare's right-hand man, and 

1 P. R., June 22, 1258 (637). This Proclamation was 6 P. R., July 6, 1258 (610). 

elaborately edited by Alex. R. Ellis, F.R.S., for the Philo- 7 Ann. Mon. B., I., 460. 

logical Soo. Transactions in 1368 and reprinted separately. 8 Ann. Mon. D., III., 211, "per tiriacam, quam habuit, 

5 Matt. P., V., 734-5. vix evasit." Ducange says " T. = theriaca, theriaque " in 

1 Matt. P., V. (688, 695, 742). French, which is treacle or other electuary. 

4 Gasquet's "Greater Abbeys of England," p. 50. 9 Matt. P., V., 704-5, 

' Ann. Mon. I., I., 162 ; P. R., May 2, 1258 (C62). 


holding lands in Suffolk and a free warren at Hersham in Essex in 1254. 1 For a time he escaped, 
but was seized in Loudon the following March, taken to Winchester the scene of his erime, and 
there imprisoned until his trial. He was found guilty, largely it would seem on the evidence of 
William de Clare's dying declaration, and on May 26th Richard caused him to be executed in the 
savage fashion of the day, if we are to believe one chronicler (equis distractus est et in patibulo 
suspensus) ; though the Tewkesbury chronicle merely says he was killed, and afterwards dragged to 
the gibbet (interfectus et equis tractus est et postea patibulo suspensus) . Matthew Paris himself says : 
" ita convictus judicialiter est Wintoniam tractus et in patibulo horribiliter suspensus" 2 And here it 
must be noted that these are the last words written by that gifted historian himself, and the scroll 
ends with a picture of Matthew on his deathbed. There seems to have been some doubt of 
de Scottenay's guilt, or at least of his being the only guilty party, for just before his trial a second 
violent letter was dispatched to the Pope against the egregious Aylmer elect of Winchester, 
accusing him of William de Clare's death, which was pronounced an irreparable loss. 

Nothing special has been found about William to shew whether this meant more than the 
expression of a brother's love, but a suggestion of how the time of a cadet of a great feudal house 
was partly spent may be gathered from an entry in the liberate rolls on May 6th, 1256. This 
orders the sheriff of Salop to send the 30 or 40 stags (red deer) and the 15 bucks (fallow deer) 
taken by William de Clare and Roger de Somery in the forest of Kinfare, after they have been 
salted, to the king at Woodstock by Sunday before the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin 
(August 15th). The hunting was not for pleasure only, but was "pot-hunting" to order. It 
also shews how in those days of difficult communication salt meat was a staple food, not only in the 
winter when farm stock were too lean to kill, but in the summer when fresh meat could not be 
carried far. Kinfare is at the extreme south end of Staffordshire and less than sixty miles as the 
crow flies from Woodstock, but an obviously hopeless distance in hot weather for fresh meat to be 
carried over a hilly country with bad roads. 

Richard recovered gradually and went to Tewkesbury on August 20th, when he begged for a 
procession which was accordingly held, evidently as a solemn service of thanksgiving ; and after it 
he gave the kiss of peace to every single inmate from the highest to the lowest. At which signal 
event, declares the chronicler, all rejoiced. 3 

1259. Next spring Richard, who was strongly in favour of the surrender of Normandy, went 
to France to arrange about the transfer of the provinces agreed to be ceded, and to conclude peace ; 
also to negotiate a marriage between John son and heir of the Count of Brittany, and Beatrice 
king Henry's daughter. 4 The earl of Leicester, Peter of Savoy, John Mansel, John de Balliol and 
Sir Robert Walerand were his companions on this mission, and whilo abroad a quarrel broke out 
between de Montfort and de Clare. Matters came to such a pass between them that Simon refused 
to return with his colleagues and remained in France. De Bohun, earl of Hereford, who was the 
traditional rival of: de Clare on the Marches, as de Warenne was in the south of England, declared, 
with the support of the majority of the barons, that de Montfort must at all costs be fetched back 
if their government was to continue. Richard had to yield, and accordingly sent his seneschal 
Hervey to all his tenants to bid them hold firm to their allegiance to the Council, and the storm 
was quieted. 5 But a new cause of disagreement soon arose, for de Montfort's wife Eleanor, the 
king's sister, refused to surrender on her son's behalf any claim they might have on Normandy, 
and thus jeopardised the success of the French treaty ; with difficulty this quarrel also was patched 
up for a while by their fellow barons. But de Clare and de Montfort were not the only two on the 
barons' side who were quarrelling. They suffered the usual dissensions of an oligarchy, and while 

1 P. U, 1248 (12, 61, 107) ; 1254 (343). 3 Ann. Mon. T., I., 167. 

2 Ann. Mon. W., IV., 120 ; ibid., T., I., 1G7 ; Matt. P., * Ann. Mon. T., 168 ; P. B., March 10, 1259 (18). 
V. 3 748. s Matt. P., V., 744; Flor. Hist., II., 425. 

M 2 



the arrogant behaviour of de Montt'ort's sons tended to alienate many from their chief, their own 
internal feuds soon began to make their rule discredited in the country. 

1260. In fact at this date neither were issues clear nor parties definite. Henry and his son 
Edward were not on the best of terms ; de Montfort, who bad returned to England in February, and 
de Clare were continually quarrelling ; and Edward was incensed with de Clare over the surrender 
of the French provinces. 1 The anger of the heir to the throne and to the provinces in question was 
not unnatural, but on de Clare's side there were bitter complaints about Roger de Leyburn, 
Edward's steward on the Marches, who had there seized some of Richard's servants and hanged 
them without trial. 2 The incident suggests that Richard's methods, or at least those of his lieges 
in the west, were sometimes indistinguishable from highway robbery, but of course, as a feudal 
lord, de Clare could brook no punishment of his servants but by himself. Richard of Germany 
appeared, however, as peacemaker, and in June 1260 it was recorded that all contention between 
Sir Edward and de Clare had been settled. 3 Henry was working hard to foment the jealousies 
among the barons, and to detach de Clare from their party, and as he was himself soon reconciled 
to his son, partly, according to one account, 4 by de Clare's advice, his brother's mediation between 
Edward and de Clare was no doubt most acceptable. 

Richard of Germany went back to his own kingdom at the end of October after this general 
reconciliation, and the same month letters patent were signed jointly by the king and the earl of 
Gloucester, 5 so great a position had Richard now attained to in the realm ; indeed Henry even 
contemplated giving him a grant of the return and execution of all royal -writs in the south-eastern 
counties, 6 but it seems he did not actually give effect to this. 

1261. Next year however Henry, thinking himself probably quite as strong as the disunited 
barons, and copying the action of his shameless father John, procured a dispensation from the Pope 
for himself and his son to ignore their oath to observe the provisions of Oxford. Edward, who was 
abroad jousting, hurried home to allay the storm of anger at once provoked, and of his own free 
will, rejecting the papal absolution, renewed his oath. The ranks of the divided barons at once 
closed up ; de Clare and de Montfort, reconciled in face of the danger to the state and declaring 
the papal absolution to have been obtained by fraud, hurried to the coast and made sure of the 
fealty of the Cinque Ports, while Henry with his hated foreign advisers, whom he refused to dismiss 
at the barons' demands, shut himself up in the Tower towards the end of June. The fact, however, 
that the heir apparent was on their side no doubt gave the barons great confidence in their ultimate 
success. Moreover, the death in May of Pope Alexander IV., author of the detested letter of 
absolution, eased matters. Negotiations were accordingly opened, and Queen Margaret of France 
was suggested as a mediator or umpire between the king and Simon de Montfort and his wife 
Eleanor, the king's sister. Henry then moved to Windsor and issued a proclamation justifying 
himself against the barons early in August, but he found this did not help to mend matters, and 
by Michaelmas he was back in his stronghold at the Tower. De Clare was not at all anxious to 
see things forced to extremities, which would have meant the election of de Montfort as leader of 
the barons, and his own views were decidedly in favour of moderation and peace. Accordingly in 
October he had a safe conduct and a parley with Henry, 7 and eventually on December 7th 
proclamation was made that the king had made peace with the barons, who were to seal it within 
the fortnight. The fifteen named to do so included the Earl Marshal, Simon himself, de Warenne 
(a royalist, or at least a very doubtful barons' man), de Mortimer (afterwards the chief abettor of 
Sir Edwai'd's escape), Hugh le Dispenser, John de Burgh, John FitzJohn, William de Montchensey, 

1 Gerv. Cant., II., 210; Ann. Mon. T., I., 1G8-9. 
- Ann. Londin.; Chron. Ed. I. & II., I., 54. 
3 P. R., June 17, 1260(79). 
« Ann. Mon. D., III., 215. 

1 P. R., Oct. 8, 12G0 (96). 
" Ibid., March 18, 12C0 (99). 
7 P. It., Oct. 17,1261 (178). 

EARL RICHARD (1222—62). HIS DEATH. 85 

and Nicholas de Segrave (who afterwards led the Londoners at Lewes). The list comprised 
de Montfort's chief supporters, but the absence of de Clare's name is remarkable, and suggests, 
unless he had already sealed a separate agreement, that he was now actually counted as a kiug's 
man. At the same time also, Richard once more made friends with Archbishop Boniface, with 
whom he had been again at variance through espousing the cause of the Prior of Canterbury in a 
dispute with the see. 1 

Following this amnesty, all danger of bloodshed being over, Henry left the Tower and took up 
his quarters at Westminster, where he remained until July. He then took a hurried journey to 
Rochester, where he was on July 4th, apparently to assure himself of the city's loyalty ; on the 
6th he was at Favershain, and on the 7th and 8th at Canterbury with Archbishop Boniface for the 
feast of St. Thomas y he passed on to Dover on July 12th and crossed to France on Saturday, 
July 14th, 3 the very day or the day after Richard died "at one of his manors near Canterbury." 
Gervase of Canterbury says the earl died at Hesmeresfield at the manor of John de Criol on 
Saturday, July 14th, and the Oseney chronicle says near Canterbury on July 14th, while the 
Tewkesbuvy and Burton chronicles say July 15th. 4 This Eschemerfeld or Hesmersfield or Eshmerfeld, 
called Emmersfield by Weever in 1631, is now Ashenfield in the parish of Waltham, some seven 
miles southwards from Canterbury. It is only a farm to-day, but there are still some of the 
foundations of Sir John de CrioPs castle where Richard died, beneath thick woodland. 5 These 
Criols or Keriels were an important Kentish family, and their arms are recorded in the earliest 
extant Roll of Anns ("Glover's Roll," 1245 — 50) as or two chevrons gules, with a canton gules for 
difference, doubtless to mark the fact that they were deliberately copied from the coat, or, three 
chevrons gules, of their de Clare overlords. 

On the Monday following Richard's body was taken to the Cathedral Church of Christ at 
Canterbury, where the archbishop celebrated a memorial mass, and his entrails were buried before 
the altar of St. Edward the Confessor ; the body was forthwith taken to the Collegiate Church of 
Tonbridge, where the heart was buried, and thence the body was finally borne to Tewkesbury and 
laid to rest there on July 28th. 7 Boniface lost no time in occupying Tonbridge Castle, of which, 
with the honour of Tonbridge and Hadlow, he took full possession with no protest from the heir 
Gilbert, now 19 years old. 

The cause of Richard's death is not stated, except by the Dunstaple monk, who declares that 
both he and William de Beauchamp were poisoned at the table of Peter of Savoy, the queen's 
uncle. 8 The Welsh record also says that in the summer of 1262 " Gilbert (sic) earl de Clare, the 
flower of English knighthood, perished by poison at Dorobernia " ,J (used for both Canterbury and 
Dover). So no doubt the story had gained both circumstance and credence before it reached 
Wales. Whether it was true or not, there is no evidence to shew. The accusation and the crime 
were alike common at that day, but it may be readily imagined that the former was more common 
than the latter. Certainly Richard should have been still a fairly young man even in a short-lived 
age, for he wanted three weeks to complete his 40th year. But he had lived a hard life of warfare 
and exposure, and probably the poisoning of four years before had left his constitution weakened. 
He died in a lull before the storm, glad, doubtless, to feel that his own efforts had helped 

1 Gerv. Cant., II., 207-214. XV., 1—2. Sir John was son of Bertram de Criol, and, dying 

2 The translation of St. Thomas a Becket, July 7. in 1264, was succeeded by his son Sir Bertram (" Arch. Cant.," 

3 P. R., July 12, 1262 (226). V., 304), who, dying in 1275, left only a daughter, though the 

4 Ann. Mon. O., IV., 131 ; Ann. Mon. B., I., 499 ; T., I., family long continued iu a cadet branch. (C/. Philipott, 
169. Cotton, 139, says July 22, which is clearly wrong. Villare Cant., 352.) 

5 They are practically invisible : information from Mr. 7 Gerv. Cant., II., 215 ; Ann. Mon. T., I., 169 ; ibid., 
G. J. Scott of Ashenfield. Wyles, IV., 131. 

6 See Hasted's " Kent," III., 742 note, and IV., 172 note. 8 Ann. Mon. D., III., 219. 
But he wrongly gives the field as argent. See " Arch. Cant.," 9 Ann. Cambr., 100. 



to arrest the threatened civil war. Certainly his death removed one of the chief moderating 
influences on the barons' side. 

So his body was carried to Tewkesbury, where he was laid to rest in the choir on the right of 
his father. The obsequies of " this truly noble man worthy of every praise " were attended by the 
bishops of Llandaff and Worcester and no fewer than eight abbots, while numerous indulgences 
were granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops to all who prayed for his soul. 1 

His widow Maud adorned his tomb with gold and silver and many precious stones. An 
elegiac couplet, composed doubtless at her fond command by one of the Tewkesbury monks, 
to whose house both he and his father had been great benefactors, recited his virtues and 

his prowess. 

Hie pudor Hippolyti, Paridis gena, sensus Ulyssis, 
iEneae pietas, Hectoris ira jacet. 

One who like Hippolyt kept ever pure 

And matched JEneas' piety most sure ; 
Like Paris handsome, like Ulysses wise, 

Tet terrible as Hector — here he lies. 2 

It is hard to tell how far Richard's life (with due allowance for hyperbole) had earned so great 
a panegyric, but one may at least be content to think that his epitaph lied less than very many. 
His piety was doubtless, according to his lights, sincere, and the restrained but comprehensive 
eulogy of the Tewkesbury monk, " vir omni laude dignus," seems to tell more than any catalogue of 
virtues. Giraldus Cambrensis, who probably died in 1220, relates a story 3 of Richard de Clare, 
presumably the Charter lord and grandfather who died in 1217, which tells how his piety preserved 
him once from a temptation which might well have seemed irresistible to the soldier of an age when 
Joseph was probably a rarer character than Potiphar's wife; and the tale fits so well with the 
purity vaunted in the Tewkesbury epitaph of the grandson that it suggests an hereditary standard 
of morals among the de Clares higher than was perhaps common in those days. 

Indirectly the cause of education in England generally and Oxford University in particular 
owes a debt to Richard de Clare, who in the last year of his life gave leave as overlord to 
Walter de Merton to assign his manors of Farley, Chessington and Maiden to Merton's new 
foundation of Maiden College. That college, first established for Walter's own relatives, "scholares 
in scolis degentes," merged a few years later in his larger foundation of Merton at Oxford, which, as 
the oldest college at either Oxford or Cambridge, can claim to be the archetype of the University 
collegiate system as it obtained in England. And so at Oxford the de Clare influence may be 
traced to this day in the arms of Merton College — or, three chevrons counter-coloured per pale 
azure and gules — which were those of its founder and must surely have been adapted by Walter 
or his forbears from the de Clare coat. 4 

1 Ann. Mon. T., I., 169. 

2 Flor. Ilist., II., 475. Weever (323) renders it :— 

Chaste Hippolite and Paris fair, Ulysses wise and sly, 
JEneas kind, fierce Hector, here jointly entombed lye. 
And Camden, in his " Britannia " (2nd edition, by Up. 
Gibson, p. 360), gives a shorter version disdainful of both 
rhyme and grammar : — 

Here Hector's rage, Ulysses' wisdom lays, 
llippolytus his blush, and Paris' face. 
Another attempt might be : — 
./Eneas pious, Paris dear, 

Pure Hippolyt, Ulysses wise, 
Dread Hector's self all own their peer 
In him who 'neath you lies. 

Another : — 

Hippolytus his modesty and Paris' lineaments, 
JEneas' steady piety, Ulysses' sturdy sense, 
And Hector's soul that knew not fear, 
In one united all lie here. 

3 Gir. Camb., II., 228 (Gemna Ecclesiastics). 

4 V. C. H., III., 523 note, suggests that "Walter de Merton 
was related to the Watcviles who perhaps bore a similar coat. 
Cf. S. A. C, xx, 64. As however he oame from Basingstoke 
where he inherited lands from his father, he very possibly 
adopted this coat from his overlords on becoming a de Clare 
tenant by purchase from the Wateviles. As chancellor 
1261-3 and bishop of Rochester 1274-7 arms would be de 


But chancellor Merton with his purely secular college for educational purposes, whore a scholar 
taking vows forfeited his scholarship, was ahead of his times. The dc Clares never shewed 
conspicuous ability or constructive vision, and Richard's piety took the usual form of encouragement 
of "religious," and, as already said, he first brought the order of Augustinian Hermits to England. 
For the rest his personal courage was heyond dispute, and his career may fairly be said to have 
shewn both moderation and statecraft. But the blot on his character so severely judged by 
Matthew Paris seems undeniable, and with all his wealth and great position his greed for money 
cannot but appear the more contemptible. 

A sidelight on the grim mediaeval humour of the day and the carelessness for despised lives, 
which was so strongly marked a characteristic of the times, is given by a story of Richard told by 
Henry Knighton, the monk of Leicester. 1 A Jew at Tewkesbury having fallen into a latrine on 
Saturday declined to be pulled out, from reverence to his Sabbath ; on Sunday Richard forbade 
help to be given him as it was his Sabbath, and the Jew perished. The story probably hit the 
fancy of the day, for it is repeated frequently. 

His widow in 1284, for the health of his soul, founded an Augustinian nunnery for forty nuns 
at the church of St. John the Evangelist and St. Etheldreda at Legh in the diocese of Exeter, where 
there was a decayed college of seven canons of the same order. She gave that church the whole of 
her manor of Sydingow in frank almoigne 2 and endowed it with £200 a year besides costly 
ornaments and vessels, which the abbess had subsequently to be forbidden to dispose of. 3 

Countess Matilda was still living in 1288 when she presented to the rectory of Llanganna, 4 and 
the date of her death has not been found. Her pious foundation in Devonshire is of course long 
vanished as is the table-tomb, encrusted with enamel and adorned with gems, which bore the earl's 
effigy at Tewkesbury, but there remains to this day one inconspicuous but noble memorial to 
Richard de Clare. In the north and south aisles of Westminster Abbey, west of the transepts, but 
still in that part built by Henry III., were carved a series of shields commemorating benefactors of 
the great work. 5 Of those of that date which still remain, and on the north side third from the 
east, between the shields of St. Louis of France and Roger Bigod earl of Norfolk, appear the three 
chevrons of de Clare. On the south side the corresponding shield is to-day that of Edmund de 
Lacy earl of Lincoln, Richard's brother-in-law, while the next eastwards is that of his stepfather 
and life-long friend Richard of Cornwall. 

One of the now almost forgotten moulders of our English state, Richard de Clare was also 
among those whose pious hands helped to rear the great Abbey, which stands to-day for all that is 
best and holiest in the sovereignty of English kings, and it is fitting that his arms should still be 
shrined in a spot so dear to every British heart. 

1 H. Knighton, I., 22 ; Mon. de Mel., II. . 334 ; Monum. 5 There were a series of 40 on the two sides dating from 

Francisc, II., 148. • Bodl. Ch. and R., 49. Henry III.'s day and later. Many have been lost or covered 

3 Pap. Reg., I., 478, 485. up, but of the oldest series 7 on either side, including de Clare's, 

4 Abp. Peokham Reg., 77. are still left. (Cf. Neale's " Westm. Abbey," II., 26-8.) 


V. — The Red earl and his career. His changes of sides and turbulence. As the 

king's son-in-law. 

1262. After his father's funeral young Gilbert hastened over to Boulogne to see the king and 
claim his inheritance. Henry did not at all welcome the heir to so valuable an escheat, but 
William de Valence, who went with Gilbert, induced the king to receive him suitably the day after 
his arrival. 1 He failed, however, in getting livery of his lands, as not yet being of age ; so he 
quickly turned home again accompanied by Henry of Germany, his half-uncle, son of his grand- 
mother Isabel by her marriage with Richard of Cornwall, king of Germany. 

Young de Clare was no doubt not only eager to enter into his full inheritance, but very jealous 
of his rights, so that when many nobles at the king's behest did homage that year at Westminster 
to Edward as his son and heir, Gilbert declined to do so. 2 Presumably he based his refusal on the 
ground that since his lands were held of the king in chief, who had not yet granted them to 
him, he would do homage to nobody but the king himself; so Henry, who was never anxious 
to give up a profitable wardship, waived the point. The episode seems a characteristic one on 
both sides. 

Tbis first year of Gilbert's earldom was marked by a violent quarrel with the Abbot of St. 
Edmund's, with whom his father had been at variance over the settlement of Greyfriars at Bury 
four years before. 3 Simon de Luton, who was abbot 1257 — 1279, had caused one Roger Talbot, 
either then or previously a de Clare servant, to be imprisoned on a charge of treachery, for which 
he was to find sureties and answer before the abbot's court in person. This was a claim to juris- 
diction which Gilbert could not brook, and he appeared at Bury with a large armed force and 
rescued Roger from the abbot's clutches. 

Meanwhile the king appointed William Bagot and Henry de Malo Lacu (Baddlesea) guardians 
of the honour of Clare, and they took over all tbe rents and profits of the estates. 1 He also 
granted in payment of his debts to his brother William de Valence, uncle of Gilbert's wife, £500 
from Gilbert's property, including the manors of Rotherfeud (Rotherfield) Blescingleye, and others 
which he was cultivating at his own expense, reserving to the widowed Maud lands in Norfolk. If 
Gilbert failed to prove his age on St. Giles's day, 5 so that the king had the custod)- of the lands 
another year, then William was to have another £500 from the same properties, if the king owed 
him so much. In view of the state of the country a wise proviso was inserted that " if the said 
fruits and issues were devastated or carried away by reason of the disturbance of the realm, then 
such defaults were to be allowed in the king's debts." 6 

A month later Gilbert did homage for his Welsh lands, and had livery of them, 7 and a few 
weeks after he was granted the same exemption for life from any general summons or amercement 
before the justices which his father had had. 8 The same week his bailiffs at Blecchingele were 
notified that ' ( Ralph le Chamberleng was on the king's service on Tuesday before the Exaltation 
of the Holy Cross (September 14th), so that he could not be present at the plea of trespass then 
before the Blecchingele court between himself and Roger de Loges, for which Ralph was not to be 
put in default." 9 Next month Gilbert himself, together with many others of the barons or chief 
land-holders, was summoned to Windsor with horses and arms, and " not to fail because of the 

1 Gerv. Cant., II., 216. ■ Ann. Mon. D., III., 220. 3 Gerv. Cant., TT., 217. Cf. Dug. and Mon. III., 106. 

4 P. It., Nov. 15, 1262 (237). 5 St. Egidius, abbot, Sept, 1. 6 P. It., July 3, 1263 (268). 

1 P. »., Aug. 3, 1263 (273). s P. It., Sept. 18, 12G3 (278). ° P. It., Sept. 21, 1263 (28l), 


Provisions of Oxford, which the king does not mean to infringe." l All of which entries tend to 
shew that Gilbert had with his father adhered to the king's cause. But de Montfort and his party 
were now in arms, and in June 1263 they hurried eastwards from the Welsh Marches, and so from 
Reading across Surrey to Reigate, in order to seize Dover. 

Whether Gilbert answered the summons to Windsor or not does not appear, but at this 
juncture the king was making a bid for peace. He offered to submit the whole case between 
himself and the barons to the saintly king of France and abide by his decision, if the barons would 
do the same. Louis IX. 's name commanded general respect ; the offer was accepted, and on 
January 23rd, 1264, the French king, himself an autocratic sovereign, pronounced sentence. 
The Great Charter was binding on Henry, but the Provisions of Oxford were wholly illegal, 
derogatory to the Crown, and merely waste paper. The Pope speedily confirmed their annulment, 
and the terrors of excommunication were to enforce the order. The earl of Leicester immediately 
declared that it were worse perjury to forswear the Oxford Provisions than his oath to abide by 
Louis' decision. Many of the barons wavered or still adhered to the king, but Gilbert, strongly 
urged by his mother Maud, 2 followed the traditions of his race and immediately joined himself to 
de Montfort. London pronounced for the barons, and 15,000 men joined the rebellion. The king, 
reinforced from Scotland, had successes in the Midlands, taking Nottingham and Northampton, 
and with his son Edward hurried south on London early in April. 

De Montfort had actually started northwards to oppose him, but at St. Albans he was informed 
of a Jewish plot to fire London on Palm Sunday (April 13th) and admit the enemy with the help of 
false keys which, with " Greek fire," were found in Jews' houses. The patriot was not ahead of 
his age in the treatment of a hated race and forthwith carried out in London a massacre of Jews 
of all ages, except a few chief men reserved for further " enquiry," and those who accepted baptism. 
Meanwhile Gilbert performed the same probably not uncongenial work at Canterbury. 3 Thence he 
went to lay siege to Rochester on April 17th, where Simon joined him from London; and 
together they took the town by assault next day, 4 while the constable Roger de Leyburne and 
John de Warenne, after setting fire to a great part of the town and Priory, shut themselves up in 
the castle and prepared for a stout defence. On Easter Monday, April 21st, and throughout that 
week, assault after assault was delivered, but on the Saturday Simon and Gilbert heard of the 
king's advance on London, and that Edward threatened Tonbridge, whereupon they at once 
abandoned the siege and fell back on the capital. 

Henry meanwhile, avoiding London, whence the citizens had issued, not, says the chronicler, 
"to receive him with palms, but to repel him with lances," had turned aside to Kingston. Here 
he crossed the river and seized a "castle belonging to the earl of Gloucester," which, however, can 
have only been temporary earthworks, as there was no de Clare stronghold at Kingston. He 
pushed on to Tonbridge, where both town and castle surrendered on May 1st, and Gilbert's wife, 
Alice countess of Gloucester, was taken prisoner. Henry, however, merely removed his niece for 
safety to the abbey, with leave to go free ; but he left a strong garrison of picked troops in 
Tonbridge castle, which he expected Gilbert would lose no time in attempting to recover. From 
Tonbridge he marched south by Robertsbridge to Winchelsea, and so three days later to Lewes, 
where he lodged in the Priory, while Edward held the castle. 

At Lewes, de Warenne's chief stronghold, Henry was in a friendly country, Arundel, Bramber 
and Pevensey being held for him in Sussex, while northwards Farnham, Guildford, Reigate, 
Rochester and the captured Tonbridge were all royalist. De Montfort accordingly decided on 
immediate action before the king could collect further reinforcements. With 15,000 men he and 

1 P. E., Oct. 17, 1263 (290). 

5 Ann. Mon. O., IV., 140, Comes [Leicestrioe] .... Gilbertum Coin. Glouc. novitium, instigante matre sua, blanditiis 
allectum, qui prius regi devotus extiterat, resilire coegit, et de fideli reddidit infidelem. 

3 Ann. Mon. J)., TIT., 230, 4 Gerv. Cant,, II., 236. 



de Clare marched south, passing along the old Roman road through Godstone, picking up no doubt 
some addition of strength from Blechingley castle and thus weakening the garrison there, and so, 
risking a flank movement from the royal forces lately left at Tonbridge, pushed on to Fletching 
some six miles north of the Priory at Lewes. 

From here, on May 12th, they sent a letter to "their most excellent lord, the king," hoth 
apologetic and threatening, professing loyalty to his person and undying hatred for his foreign 
advisers. Henry's reply, more particularly addressed to the earls of Leicester and Gloucester, who 
had signed the barons' letter, denounced them and their accomplices as the causes of civil war and 
rapine, and declared that he would succour and defend his true friends with all his power. 
De Montfort at once advanced, driving in the king's foraging parties, and on Wednesday, 
May 14th, at early dawn his army was immediately outside Lewes. Here, before the battle, he 
solemnly knighted Gilbert, Thomas de Clare his brother, 1 Eobert de Vere 2 and several others of his 
young adherents, and invested them with knightly armour. His forces were drawn up in four 
divisions, the right or first line being led by his own two sons Henry and Guy, John de Burgh, 
junior, and Humphrey de Bohun ; the centre was entrusted to the young knight Gilbert de Clare 
earl of Gloucester, with the veterans John FitzJohn and William de Montchensy to assist him ; the 
left consisted of the Londoners under Nicholas de Segrave, the leader of their own choice ; while 
the earl of Leicester himself commanded the fourth division in support. On the king's side, 
Edward, with de Warenne and the king's brother William de Valence, led the right ; the king of 
Germany and his son Henry the centre, and king Henry himself the left. His support was weak, 
as he had left so many men at Tonbridge. 3 The royalists attacked, and Sir Edward charged the 
London levies with such fury that they broke and fled, pursued by their slaughtering foes for two 
or three miles, far beyond the scene of battle. Meanwhile, however, Gilbert's centre had crushed 
their opponents, the king of Germany was a prisoner, and Henry himself on the left, hard pressed 
and in danger of his life, was hurried back to Lewes into the abbey once more, when the gates were 
forthwith closed. Victors and vanquished poured pell-mell into the town, and William de Valence, 
de Warenne and as many as could fled to Pevensey and escaped over seas. 4 

Edward returning to find the battle lost, threw himself into the abbey to join his father, and 
after a few days of turmoil, which included an unsuccessful attack by the barons on the castle, and 
negotiations, he gave himself up as hostage for the king on May 19th, while his cousin Henry 
"became hostage for his father the king of Germany. 

The routed Londoners meanwhile fled northwards far and fast, hoping for help as they got 
towards Blechingley and Croydon ; but the royal garrison at Tonbridge heard news of how the 
battle had gone, both of the Londoners' rout and of the utter defeat and capture of the king. They 
were a strong party and sallied forth, doubtless in full force knowing that Tonbridge would soon be 
no longer safe for them, to escape westwards. Late in the evening, says the chronicler, though it 
can hardly have been the same day as the battle, they fell upon the luckless Londoners and killed 
many more of them and took much spoil. Probably it Avas then, elated by their success, that they 
attacked the scantily defended castle of de Clare at Blechingley. In any case tradition says it was 
at their hands that it suffered, if not destruction, at least such damage as to be made untenable. 
They had no time of course to do much actual demolition of masonry, but no doubt they set fire to 
it and left the keep gutted and roofless with the upper walls tottering, while all the timber out- 

1 Ann. Mon. Wig., IV., 451. G. vero de Clare codem Wig., IV., 452, is no doubt apocryphal. Another account is 

die militem fecit et comitom, Thomae etiam fralri ejusdem 1hat Henry chose Gilbert as the least disagreeable person to 

arma militaria coutulit et ca;teris. whom to surrender, and gave up his sword to him, Ann. 

1 H. Knighton, R. S., 246. Mon. War., II., which also reads like monkish embroidery. 

3 H. Knighton, R. S., 246-7. Henry was very adaptable, and probably kept his sword and 

4 The story that Gilbert bam-strung the king's hone and his dignity and nothing else, 
with revcrenco received his surrender told in Ann. Mon. 



buildings would be destroyed. From Blechingley the royalists passed away westwards and 
eventually reached Bristol, where, no doubt, they were soon again in the field with the Marcher 
barons, when they rose against de Montfort. 

With this episode the inglorious history of Blechingley, as a place of arms, concludes. The 
date of the castle building is uncertain, facts recorded about it non-existent, and its end — for it 
seems certain that it never was re-fortified — traditional. 

But the temporary capture of Tonbridge and the breaching of Blechingley castle were very 
small losses for Gilbert to set off against the victory of Lewes. De Montfort and his party were 
supreme, and to the victors were the spoils. Peace was immediately proclaimed by the earls of 
Leicester and Gloucester in the king's name, and all prisoners were ordered to be brought to 
London. 1 Gilbert had commitment during pleasure of the castle of Pembroke held by William de 
Valence, 2 and besides, a grant of all lands of his ancestral rival John de Warenne, except the castle 
of Reigate which de Montfort had, and Lewes 3 — more than payment no doubt for de Valence's 
.£500 from the de Clare estates. For the government of the country the Mi?e of Lewes put the 
royal powers in commission, and on June 23rd Henry appointed the 

"Bishop of Chichester (Stephen de Berkstead), Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester, and Gilbert de 
Clare earl of Gloucester and Hertford, to nominate nine experienced men, prelates or others, by whose 
council the King wishes to rule the affairs of the realm according to its laws and customs, until the 
Mise lately made between him and the barons at Lewes, or another form, if a better can be provided, be 
completed." 4 

De Montfort and de Clare were further entrusted with the pacification of the Welsh Marches, 
and all knights and freemen were ordered to assist them in taking the rebel castles; 5 the barons 
holding them being summoned to surrender forthwith. Among these latter was James de Aldithele 
or Daudele (or as it would now be written d'Audley), whose nephew Hugh later married Gilbert's 
daughter Margaret. 

1264. After all that Gilbert had now done it is not surprising to find that on September 24th 
the king had 

" satisfied himself by enquiry that Gilbert de Clare was of full age on St. Giles's day last, and therefore 
restored to him all the castles and lands of his inheritance ; and because by reason of the affairs of the 
king and realm, in the expedition of which he is constantly attendant, Gilbert cannot come in person to 
Edward the king's son, the king has, in place of his son and by his will, taken fealty of Gilbert for all his 
Irish castles and land which are forthwith to be handed over to him." 6 

It may be noticed (since the king addressed his letter before the battle to the two earls) that 
Gilbert stepped into his earldoms by mere inheritance without any investiture, such as his father 
had hud to wait for until he had won his spurs in a Welsh campaign. Doubtless Gilbert's 
prominence on the barons' side caused his hereditary titles to be accorded him forthwith, since the 
chief lieutenant of so renowned a warrior as de Montfort was obviously capable of supporting the 
rank to which he was born, and from Lewes onwards he was known throughout England as the 
earl of Gloucester or the Red earl, and, after Simon himself, probably the most powerful subject in 
the kingdom. 

But de Montfort's second attempt at government was destined to last an even shorter while 
than the first. The commission of three was certainly less cumbrous than the Council formed 
after the Provisions of Oxford, but de Montfort himself was too autocratic to ensure its smooth 

1 P. R., June 4, 126-4 (359). 

1 P. R., June 5 and 6, 1264 (322). 

3 Ibid. (326). 

* P. R., June 23, 1264, at St. Paul's, London (326). 

5 P. R., July 18, 1264(363). 

s P. R., Sept. 24, 1264, at Canterbury (3D0). 

N 2 


working. The Red earl, as Gilbert was called from the colour of his hair, had both a strong 
will and the self-assurance of youth, and he did not easily see his own suggestions ignored. 
Immediately after the battle of Lewes, he protested against the strict captivity, and demanded the 
custody, of the prisoners he had himself helped to take, especially of the king of Germany, 1 his late 
father's great friend and stepfather. De Montfort's arrogant reply that " he should be contented 
with having saved his own lands by that day's battle " 3 was not calculated to make a refusal more 
acceptable ; while the severe treatment of the king's son, his personal friend, who was even reported 
to be kept in irons at Dover, and of his half-uncle Henry, still further irritated the young earl. 
The degradation too, and neglect, which were now king Henry's lot, excited feelings of pity, and 
the traditional loyalty of de Clare was doubly stirred. 

Parliament was summoned in December 1264, and de Montfort then called not only knights of 
the shire but also two members from every borough. This apparently popular step was induced, 
however, more by the desire to hide the scanty numbers of the barons, than from a considered wish 
to extend the representation of the country. The fact that only 23 earls and barons could be found 
to sit with the 120 ecclesiastics made a larger number of supporters imperative. 

It was probably at this juncture, while the fate of the realm seemed trembling in the balance, 
that the political song was written which, preserved by William de Rishanger in his chronicle, 
contains an often quoted appeal to the earl of Gloucester. It begins with a lament for England 
and calls on the great barons to go forward with the cause to which they had pledged themselves 
for their country's sake. Simon himself and le Bygod are the only other two addressed by name, 
but the first appealed to is de Clare. The mediaeval lilt of the Latin runs too easily to be reproduced 
happily in English, but the sense may be given : — 

comes Glovernia? comple quod coepisti ; 
Nisi claudas congrue multos decepisti. 
Age nunc viriliter sicut promisisti 
Causam fove fortiter cujus fons fuisti. 

Si, quod absit ! subtrahas manum et levamen 
Terras fraudem faciens, inferens gravamen : 
Maledictus maneat ! fiat ! fiat ! Amen. 3 

Gloucester finish now thy great emprise, 
Except the end accord thy deeds were lies. 
Now play the man ; thy troth redeemed be, 
Now stoutly urge the cause that sprang from thee. 

But if thy aiding hand — which Heav'n forefend I — 
Fail now, and treachery thy country rend — 
Curse on the traitor — curses without end ! 

But if the appeal with its final malediction was ever heard by the Bed earl it fell on deaf ears. 
Already his relations with de Montfort himself were strained almost to breaking point, while 
de Montfort's sons, by their overbearing behaviour, usurping power and place for their favourites, 
and keeping not only the prisoners but their ransoms for their own benefit, had made themselves 
intolerable to him. Simon evidently hoped to crush all resistance with a high hand, and a barons' 
meeting at London in January decreed three years banishment to Ireland against all the recalcitrant 
marchers, who consequently rallied for safety in Gilbert's western lands. 4 So high did feeling run 

1 P. 11., Oct. C, 12(>4, at Canterbury (374) ; also Eul. Hist., a Pol. Songs, Wright, CamJeu Soc, 1839 (122-3). 

III., 130; AVals. Ypod. Neust. 157. * Ann. Mou. W., IV., 159, 1GU 

! Soo lilaauw's " Ikrons' War," p. 254 and note. 


that in February a tournament arranged at Dunstable between Gilbert and Simon's eldest son 
Hear j was forbidden. 1 Gilbert ajjparently sent his brother Thomas instead, and de Montfort came 
with the practically captive king and a large force to overawe the de Clare party, very probably 
hoping to seize Gilbert himself and send him to prison, where he had just put away earl Ferrers. 2 
But de Clare had already escaped westwards to join his own adherents on the Marches, and it was 
not long before he was in communication with Roger de Mortimer proffering a return to allegiance. 
Simon, who no doubt felt Gilbert to be his greatest danger, followed with the king and Edward to 
Gloucester and then Hereford, and attempted negotiations. As, however, he also attempted to 
enlist the aid of Llewelyn to reduce the contumacious Marchers 3 — a policy which to a de Clare, who 
held the Welsh as national foes, must have seemed sheer treachery — his overtures were fruitless. 
It was Thomas de Clare * who arranged the famous gift of the speedy horse to Sir Edward, by means 
of which and the feigned race he escaped from Hereford on May 7th. 5 

On May 20th royal proclamation was made from Hereford denying the rumours of discord 
between de Montfort and de Clare, 6 but this was a mere blind. Sir Edward had already joined de 
Clare at Ludlow, 7 while at Bristol the people flocked to acclaim him, and many royalists joined his 
cause, including probably, as already suggested, the men who had held Tonbridge for the king and 
sacked Blechingley castle. The royal proclamation from Hereford, penned by de Montfort, denying 
the suggestion that proclamations were issued without the king's knowledge, and offering that the 
king would personally receive " ten or twelve of the more discreet men of the town," 8 tells the 

" Whereas Gilbert de Clare after compromising his late dissensions with Simon de Montfort has joined 
the Marchers, and William de Valence and the earl of Warenne have lately lauded and drawn Edward 
the king's son, whom alas ! they have found credulous aud easy to deceive, to join their party, contrary 
to Lis oath, the king requires the bishops of the Province of Canterbury to excorninuuicate the said rebels." 

While next day all persons in Surrey and Sussex were commanded to aid Simo de Montfort, junior, 
keeper of the peace. 9 And three weeks later, 

" Whereas Edward the king's son, Gilbert de Clare, Johu de Warenne, William de Valence, James de 
Audithele and others are in rebellion, Simon de Montfort, juur., is to keep firm aud let all know the king's 
indignation." 10 

But Henry's real feelings were doubtless very different, and in his captivity at Hereford he 
must have waited eagerly for news of how his son sped. De Montfort was in an unfriendly country 
among the barons of the west, and not strong enough to force a passage eastwards. Sir Edward 
first faced round, and at Kenilworth, on the dawn of August 1st, surprised and defeated young 
Simon and the earl of Oxford who were hurrying to the old earl's relief. 11 Simon escaped almost 
alone into the castle, and his father's chaplain, Stephen de Herewell, was dragged from sanctuary 
in the church and beheaded by Gilbert's orders, it is said. Then Sir Edward, who shewed no mean 
generalship in this campaign, turned back to deal with Leicester. He himself led the right, Gilbert 
the left, while Mortimer was behind in support. They raised the captured standard of young Simon 

1 Feed., Feb. 16, 1265 (73). « P. R., May 20, 1265 (-426). 

2 Ann. Loud., Edw. I. and II., I., 67-8. '• H. Knighton, I., 251-2. 

3 Feed., June 22, 1265 (74). Earl Simon's force at 8 P. P., June 4 (429-30). 
Evesham was largely composed of Welsh archers. 9 P. P., June 8 and 9 (430). 

4 Knighton, I., 251, wrongly calls him Hubert. He was 10 Ibid., June 28 (434). It may be noted that the king's 
still presumably supposed to be loyal to de Montfort, for his eldest son at this date had no title. The style of Prince was 
appointment as Dean was only made on April 24. (P. P., not yet in use (nor of course was the title of Prince of Wales 
1265, under data.) yet created), so Prince Edward, as the temptation naturally is 

5 On June 13, according to Ann. Cambr. 102, but the to call him, was merely "Sir Edward "or "Edward, the king's 
later quotations shew the earlier date to be tue correct one. son." " Ann. Loudin., I., 69. 


in order to deceive the foe, and near Evesham on Tuesday, August 4th, came up with de Montfort's 
greatly inferior force. The feint succeeded long enough to make retreat too late, and when de 
Montfort's watchman on the church tower of Evesham called out that they now displayed the 
banners of the king, the earl of Gloucester, and Mortimer, the old earl exclaimed : " Then God 
have mercy on our souls for our lives are lost." * No quarter was asked and none given, and the 
stout old earl himself was one of the last to fall with his eldest son Henry, Hugh Dispenser the 
justiciar, 2 and his chief adherents. The king himself was in his son's hands and once more free. 

The chronicle says that the old earl's body was shockingly mutilated before burial. If this (as 
is probable) be true, it is an unpleasant, but not uninteresting comment on the direct and elemen- 
tary brutality of the age, that the death in battle of a reputed traitor in the thirteenth century 
should be followed by the same details as are still observed by old-fashioned huntsmen in breaking 
up a dog fox. 

The great earl, whose masterful mind and lofty character, less only than his purity of purpose, 
had made a very deep impression on the nation — a fact the more remarkable considering his alien 
extraction — was very wideby lamented; so much so that long afterwards he was revered as a saint 
and martyr and even believed to work miracles. A Norman French lament, evidently written 
immediately after the battle, declares how by his very death earl Montfort achieved victory, and 
that he fell like St. Thomas of Canterbury, who died for the church, and in as good a cause. His 
son Henry is said to have fallen with main- others by the hand of the earl of Gloucester, and 
the mutilation of his corpse is alluded to. The sad refrain is repeated as a lament after each 
quatrain : — 

Ore est ocys la flur de pris, qe tant savoit de guere 

Ly quens Montfort, sa dure rnort molt emplorra la terre. 

Now fallen is that flower of price, who knew so much of war, 

Earl Montfort — ah ! his bitter death our land shall weep full sore. 3 

Gilbert was now, next to the king's son, undoubtedly the most powerful man in England, and 
it is greatly to his credit that the victory of Evesham was followed by no violent reaction or savage 
punishments. No doubt the reforming and moderate traditions of his family were strong in him. 
He had himself been a supporter of the patriot de Montfort, as his father had been before him ; 
like his father and like his great grandfather, the Charter lord, he had supported both barons and 
king in turn ; and easy as it might therefore be to call him renegade, it was in no small degree due 
to the fundamental loyalty of such men as de Clare that, while the tyranny of an individual 
monarch was curbed, the dynasty was preserved. In the autumn of 12G5 at least there were very 
many who, like the fled earl, had changed sides, and pardon was the general order of the day. 
Accordingly two months after Evesham, pardon was issued from Windsor to Gilbert de Clare, his 
brother Thomas de Clare, John Giffard and their households, in consideration of their aid to the 
king and his son at Evesham, 

" of all their trespasses in the realm up to this day, committed by reason of the late disturbance, and also 
of the king's indignation and rancour for their having adhered to Simon de Montfort, late earl of 
Leicester, his adherents against the king in the battle of Lewes, with a promise that the king will not 
proceed nor allow them to ba proceeded against for this." 4 

Pope Clement IV. also absolved Gilbert for having left the party of de Montfort and joined Edward, 
and removed the excommunication pronounced against him for having joined de Montfort at 

1 " Kaunt Symou ly vayt, les barouns cscrye, son Hugh the younger, husband of Eleanor de Clare, was 

Deus ayt lei almes ! perdux est la Vye." executed iu 1326. 

Pierre de Langtoft, II., 1144. 3 Pol. Songs, 125-7. Emplorra = emplcurera in the future 

2 This was the father of " Hugh the elder," who with his tense. 4 P. R., Oct. 9, 12C5 (4G0). 



Lewes, while he congratulated Henry and Edward on their victory at Evesham, and urged them to 
use it with moderation. 1 And subsequently at Gilbert's instance similar pardons were frequently 

12G6. Moreover, by the Dictum of Kenilworth on October 31st, 126G, of which Gilbert was a 
chief arranger, all who wore dispossessed of their lands — except the heirs of the de Montforts and 
the de Ferrers — were allowed to redeem them by paying not less than one, and not more than 
seven years income from such lands to their dispossessors. However, generosity has its limits, and 
Gilbert had already had a grant of all the goods seized by him from any of the king's enemies in 
the time of the late disturbance and war. 3 A month later, in part compensation of his damages 
and losses in the royal service, he was pardoned a fine of £900 levied on him for having obtained 
his land from the king before his majority, 4 which suggests that the careful enquirers about 
Gilbert's age on St. Giles' day 1264 were wrongly informed after all, and that he was actually 
only 21 on September 2nd, 12G5. The statement, however, of the Tewkesbury monk that 
Gilbert was born at " Ckristchurch in Dorsetshire " (correctly Hants) on the morrow of 
St. Giles'' day (i.e., September 2nd, 1243), 5 one month after his father Richard attained his 
majority, seems conclusive, and the "pardon" was (like so many royal pardons) for an offence 
not committed. 

It was now nearly four years since earl Richard's death, but his estate had not yet been wound 
up, ss lawyers would say to-day, and what to modern ears sounds a very oddly-worded notice was 
accordingly issued. By it those who still owed the estate moneys, which had been left by Richard's 
will in satisfaction of debts due to the king, were ordered to be distrained to pay the executors, in 
order "to save the earl's soul and recover the debts due to the king." 6 It is to be hoped that such 
a double incentive procured the desired result, for Henry was always woefully in need of ready money. 

Parliament was called after the middle of August at Kenilworth at the legate Ottobone's 
request, and a commission of twelve appointed by proclamation for the pacification of the realm and 
the restitution of the disinherited. In case the twelve disagreed two arbitrators were named — the 
legate Ottobone and Henry of Germany. All were warned to come to the peace in forty clays under 
pain of not being received thereafter. This important document was signed by the King, the 
Legate, Edward and Gilbert. 7 

Gilbert's efforts at settling the country were clearly genuine, for in February he had procured 
the appointment of a committee of three to enquire by juries in Surrey and Sussex 

"what trespasses the de Clare bailiffs had committed against any during the late disturbances, and to do 
justice of the said bailiffs and their servants in Gilbert's name." 

The commissioners' names, Roger de Home, John de Clare and Roger Loveday, shew that one at 
least came from Blechingley parish. 8 It was a time of restitution. Even the Jews got justice 
apparently — at least Mosseus of Clare had his debts guaranteed to him by the king at Gilbert's 
instance. 9 And after all his hard fighting and administrative work it is pleasant to find that 
Gilbert had some amusement too ; for the royal prises of goshawks, gerfalcons and falcons at Lenn 
(Lynn), Boston and Jernemue (Yarmouth) were put at his service in May, and those in London in 
July, 10 and it may be hoped he had good sport with them over the marshy flats of Norfolk and the 
chalk uplands of Surrey and Kent. 

Fosd., Sept. 24, Oct. 4, 1205 (74-5). 

E.g., Rich, de Hunyngton, P. R., Jan. 18, 1266. 

Thos. Gulafre, Feb. 12, 1266 (550). 

Ralph de Roucester, Aug. 12, 1266, etc. 
P. R., Jan. 14, 1266, Northampton (582). 
P. 11., Feb. 15, 1206, at Westm. (558). 
Ann. Mon. T., I., 130. 

r> P. R. ; Mareh 3, 1266 (660). 

i P. R., Aug. 31, 1266 (671-2). " The Octave of the 
Assumption " (Aug. 15), but Ann. Mon. O., IV., 173, 178 
says twice over at Winchester on Sept. 8. 

8 P. R., Feb. 11, 1266 (657). 

9 P. R,, Oct, 11, 1266, Kenilwortli (646). 

10 P. R., May 4 and July 8, 1266 (593, 669). 


But Gilbert's domestic affairs were not running smoothly at this time. His Welsh lands were 
still in the custody of Humphrey de Bohun as trustee for himself and his widowed mother Maud, 
who held the castle of Usk and other lands beyond Wye in dower. 1 Gilbert called on her to 
surrender these as having- had an excessive amount of dower land granted to her, and order issued 
for a fresh "extension" (i.e., schedule and valuation) of Gilbert's lands beyond Wye, while the 
Marchers' rights were preserved by patent letters stating that Gilbert's suit in the king's court 
about Usk (where the king's writ did not run) was not to prejudice his privileges. 2 At the same 
time Gilbert's wife Alice received from the king her uncle a grant of Gilbert's castle of Cardiff for her 
residence during her pleasure. 3 Maud had a safe conduct to court at Kenilworth that autumn and 
again the following spring,* no doubt in connection with these new dispositions of property, and it 
seems very probable that something like a formal separation was being arranged between Gilbert 
and Alice. She was not in sympathy with his political views and may be reckoned, not unnaturally, 
a strong sympathiser with her royal uncle in the favour and generosity shewn by him to his half- 
blood foreign relatives. 

In any case, Gilbert was not proposing to sit down to enjoy domestic felicity at the moment, 
for he obtained a grant of " all the lands he could conquer from the Welsh, the king's enemies, 
without any claim from the king," provided that those lands which had been occupied by the Welsh 
should revert to their proper owners on such owners paying to Gilbert the cost of re-conquest 5 — 
a grant, it may well be imagined, thoroughly after the heart of a de Clare. His campaigning in 
the west was so far successful that less than a year later Llewelyn was suing for peace, and, after 
protracted negotiations, at Michaelmas 1267 he paid a large indemnity and agreed to hold Wales 
by homage of the king of England. 6 

But Gilbert's fighting in the autumn of 1266 was not all against Llewelyn, for fresh troubles 
had broken out in England. The moderation which the Red earl had displayed was not universal 
on the victorious side. Crushing fines and wholesale confiscations had taken place, Robert de 
Mowbray shewing especial rapacity and cruelty, at which Gilbert was so much incensed that he 
turned his arms against Mowbray on the marches. Some, moreover, of the "disinherited " had not 
accepted the Dictum of Kenilworth, but had remained in arms, and harsher treatment caused many 
more to rally to them. At last a strong force made their way from Kenilworth and took refuge in 
the Isle of Ely, where they raised once more the standard of revolt. Henry hastened with a strong 
force to Cambridge to oppose them, whereupon Gilbert marched his forces to London, as if to 
support the king. Arrived there, however, on April 9th the Red earl adopted a most dictatorial 
tone, and summoned Ottobone to yield him the Tower. 7 The Legate refused, and being thus foiled 
Gilbert designed an attempt to secure the person of the king himself at Cambridge by a sudden 
march from London. But his wife Alice, who had apparently followed him without orders from the 
west, betrayed the secret to her uncle, whereupon Henry and the king of Germany fled to Dunstable 
and thence to Windsor. 8 

Meanwhile Ottobone had shut himself up with the foreign favourites, and Gilbert cut off 
supplies. But an attack on the Tower failed, and the legate, who seems to have faced Gilbert 
boldly and whoso personal liberty Gilbert either did not dare or did not wish to molest, publicly 
rebuked him for disloyalty, and preached a crusade in St. Paul's church. Many took the cross, 
Gilbert's own brother Thomas among them, 9 and de Clare, whose object seems genuinely to have been 

1 P. It., April 30, 1266 (588). •' P. R., Aug. 20, 12GG (674). 

2 P. R., April 22, 1266 (G63), and ibid., March 26, 1267 6 Feed., Sept. 25, 20, 1267 (76). 
(49). " Gerv. Cant., II., 296. 

:i P. It., May 5, 1266 (592). 8 Ann. Mon. D., III., 245-6 (qurc occulta ad eum Lon- 

1 P. It., Sept. 1, 1266 (634), and ibid., Pol). 25, 1267 doniam venerat). 

(41-2). s Eulog. Hist., III., 130. 


amnesty for the rebels and the banishment of the foreign favourites, was not prepared to go 
to extremities. Henry had, as just seen, pursued his usual practice in warfare of not fighting and 
was still at Windsor, while the rebels advanced as far as Hounslow. But Sir Edward was now 
returned from Scotland with a large army, and a fleet of Gascon ships lay off the Tower ; so after 
Gilbert had held London for two months and some desultory fighting had taken place, terms were 
agreed on the basis of the Dictum of Kenilworth. Gilbert seems to have made his peace very 
easily considering the flagrance of his rebellion, but motives and issues alike are much confused 
in these rapidly-changing events, of which this brief narrative has been attempted : indeed 
Thomas Wykes gives a different and even less comprehensible account. 1 But it seems clear that the 
Red earl was too powerful to crush, and moreover Sir Edward, mindful of his past support, and 
himself in sympathy with the policy of moderation and clemency which de Clare represented, stood 
his friend. 

1267. So Gilbert had merely to enter into a bond of 20,000 marks, subject to the approval of 
the Pope, for his future allegiance and good behaviour, 2 and to place his elder daughter in 
queen Eleanor's custody for three years or else hand Tonbridge castle over to Henry of Germany, 
while the whole penalty was remitted a year later at Sir Edward's request. 3 

Peace being thus restored Henry himself proposed to go on the crusade, and on June 24th at 
Northampton Sir Edward and his brother Edmund, Gilbert, de Warenne, William de Valence and 
many other nobles took the cross. 4 

1269. But many delays and difficulties supervened, and in 1269 Gilbert was trying to get out 
of his engagement. He refused to attend Parliament, pretending that he was afraid of Sir Edward, 
who meant him mischief ; and that it was quite impossible for him to leave his lands on the Welsh 
borders defenceless, as they would be if he went abroad. Sir Edward was probably very angry at 
his backing out, but he had himself to go to France to arrange about troops and transport, and 
after long-drawn discussions b} r barons and bishops, the quarrel was submitted to the final arbitra- 
tion of the usual mediator, the king of Germany. He delivered in May 1270 a long-winded decision 
"compendiously" reported (as he calls it) by Thomas Wykes. This solemnly declared that Gilbert 
must go on the Crusade and start by the next convoy after Sir Edward, unless he was lawfully or 
unavoidably prevented doing so. For failure the penalty was to be 20,000 marks, which apparently 
included general good behaviour as well as crusading, with the added security of the two castles of 
Tonbridge and Henley. 5 If he went, Sir Edward was to guarantee him 2,000 marks to be expended 
wholly on the crusade. Since king Richard (as earl of Cornwall) was to be sole judge of what was 
a lawful obstacle and the penalty was an almost impossible one, it reads rather as if de Clare 
had got Richard's ear beforehand, but he still asked for clearer terms and there were more 
explanations. However, the agreement was ratified at Reading on June 17th, 1270, and de Clare 
duly attended Parliament that year. 6 Subsequently he did make an attempt, or at least a show of 
starting, for large subsidies were issued to nobles who were going with the king, such as 
Henry of Germany, Roger de Leyburne, Roger de Clifford, Edmund the king's son, and others. 
Among them appears Gilbert de Clare, " who ought to have set out after the king," and in July 1270 
received 1,000 marks by the hands of his chaplain Adam de Blechingley (for which he apparently 
afterwards accounted). 7 But there were still further debates in Parliament about taxation for the 
crusade, and although Gilbert actually crossed to Prance on February 24th, 1271, 8 he soon refused 
to proceed further and so returned to England, where no doubt he satisfied king Richard, and no 
more was ever heard of the 20,000 marks fine. Henry never started at all, but Sir Edward sailed 

1 Ann. Mon. W., IV., 204-6. 2 Feed, June 16, 1267 (76), a mere fancy sum. Cf. P. B, July 16, 1268 (246). 

3 Feed, July 16, 1268 (77). 4 Ann. Mon. W, IV., 217-8. 

5 Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, a de Montfort castle, later held by de Clare's tenants the le Botilers. 

6 Ann. Mon. W, IV, 228—233; Beg. Giffard (Worcs. Hist. Soc), 40 (fol. 29"). 

7 Lanes. Record Soc, " Lay Subsidies" (1893), I., 102. 8 Gerv. Cant, II, 249. 



about mid-August 1270 and reached Tunis a few days before the death of St. Louis, who had 
started in April. He was wounded by the murderer's poisoned dagger at Acre in 1272 — the 
occasion of his queen's historic devotion — less than a year after the birth there of his daughter 
Joan (Gilbert's future wife), and he was still abroad when Henry III. died. 

It was just before Edward sailed that there took place the startling and memorable tragedy of 
a murder in Westminster Hall, actually before the judges on the bench and within a few yards of 
the royal apartments. The victim, Alan de Zouch (or la Zouch), had fallen to words, and from 
words to blows with his opponent the great John de Warenne earl of Surrey and Sussex, who drew 
his sword on him. Thereupon de Warenne's servants dashed on the unhappy Alan like a pack of 
hounds, and leaving him covered with wounds, half dead, almost at the king's door, fled out of the 
palace with their lord to safety across the river. The king and his son demanded the instant 
submission and appearance of the offender, but de Warenne was far too much frightened to shew 
himself, and temporized from a safe distance. Gilbert de Clare and Henry of Germany, as personal 
friends of Sir Edward, who was pi-obably even more incensed than his father, intervened, and 
finally by their mediation de Warenne surrendered on June 29th, and on a plea of "hot blood " 
was let off with a fine of 5,000 marks to the king and 2,000 marks to de Zouch and his son. 1 It is 
to be hoped the son got the money, for poor Alan lingered till the dog-days and then died of 
wounds and fever. The story is a well known one, but it shews how childishly near the surface 
were passions in those days, and helps one to understand partly why political history should often 
seem so disjointed. De Clare, it should be noted, was clearly now friends again with Sir Edward, 
or his mediation would hardly have stood de Warenne in such good stead. 

The year 1271 saw the definite rupture of Gilbert's marriage, for John of Oxnead states that 
he and Alice were divorced at Norwich (celebratum est divortium) on July 18th, 1271. No other 
notice of this has been found, but as Oxnead is only some ten miles from Norwich and John was 
a monk of St. Benet's at Hulme, his statement can be trusted. 2 Moreover, in April 1271 Alice 
had had protection for John the chaplain and Master Vincent, her clerks, and Eobert Lammas her 
Serjeant, 3 shewing that she already had her separate household; while on October 21st, 1272 (only 
three weeks before Henry's death), mandate issued to all to give free passage to the king's niece 
Alice countess of Gloucester going to her own parts with household, harness and goods, 4 and so 
she passed out of Gilbert's life, though still canonically his wife. 

Next year the great riot broke out at Norwich when the abbey gates were burnt, and Gilbert 
accompanied Henry on a mission of punishment when " mouz fururt penduz e trayney " there 
before Michaelmas. 5 From Norwich the king went towards London as far as Ely, and there he fell 
ill and died on the feast of St. Edward the Confessor, November 16th, 1272. He was buried at 
Westminster on the feast of king Edward the Mariyr, November 20th, and there, at the high altar, 
Gilbert and de Warenne swore fealty to the absent Edward. 6 

Another account says that the day after Henry's funeral Gilbert and the Archbishop of 
Canterbury summoned the bishops and barons to the Temple, and first of all there swore allegiance 
to his son. 7 In any case, with John de Warenne, for once united and both loyal, Gilbert 
immediately caused Sir Edward, then 33 years and 5 months old, to be proclaimed king; and for 
the first time in English history an absent heir to the throne succeeded, without question and 
without election, to the royal dignity. 

Gilbert's brother Thomas returned that year and brought four Saracen prisoners with him, 
who must have been a nine days' wonder in town, but the new king himself delayed, settling affairs 

1 Anil. Mon. W., IV., 234-5. « P. R., under date (684). 

1 J. de Ox., 239. « Liv. de Reis Eng., 298. 

3 P. E., April 22, 1271 (532), where ihe is described as 6 Ann. Londin., I., 82. 

"consort of the earl of Gloucester." " Wals. Ypod Neust., 167; ibid., Hist. Angl., I., 8. 


in Gascony on his way, and only got home in 1271, when Gloucester and de Warenne both received 
him nobly and entertained him royally for many days at their castles of Tonbridge and Reigate. 

Gilbert was now in high favour with Edward I. He went to France about the peace 
negotiations for a short while in 1275, bringing back with him Gaston de Beam for further treaty, 
and landing at Dover on a Saturday at the end of July. That year he bad several gifts of bucks 
and does from different royal forests, perbaps for fresh blood in his own parks, and in November — 
doubtless a special honour — the Poitevin keeper had orders to deliver to him the king's goshawk 
(hostor) "Rose." 1 In 1276 he had respite from distraint for rents of the lands he had taken after 
Evesham in consideration of his services in parliament at Winchester that year; 2 but on the other 
hand he was cited to Lincoln Cathedral to answer for over £740 owed by him to the Flemish 
merchants, because the king had arranged with the countess of Flanders to satisfy the English 
merchants for their losses in Flanders (when their goods were seized by her) out of the Flemish 
merchants' goods seized in England by Henry III. 3 This shews something of trading difficulties 
of the day, and the means by which great barons like de Clare piled up their wealth ; but it also 
shews how Edward was fostering the wool industry at home. It may be noted that the case, 
a purely civil one, was to be heard (as was then quite usual) in church. 

From another source it seems that Gilbert had other ways of adding to his wealth, and was not 
above playing the Jew. In 1268 he had bought from the Jews the debts of the late William de Borhain 
and his father Robert, and taken seisin of the manor of Boreham (close to Chelmsford), in security. 
The widow, Joan, getting William de Zouche to help her, forcibly re-entered on the lands, took 
possession of the corn and spoiled the goods there, and moreover apparently recovered seisin in 
court. Whereupon Gilbert, law-abiding at least when he had a good legal claim, entered a plea of 
trespass. The Jews' bonds were all in order, and he was reinstated till the debt should be paid ; 
when it appeared that Joan's lands were all in the Jews' (i.e., apparently Gilbert's) hands, and she 
had no means of paying. 4 It is worth noting that Joan's mother was Margery Vyel, and Vyelstone 
(now Filston in Shoreham, Kent) was a de Clare manor, 5 so that perhaps Gilbert was pursuing a 
vendetta against a vassal. The story certainly reads as a comment on Gilbert's rapacity, and if the 
father may be judged from the son it seems to lend colour to the severe strictures of Matthew 
Paris on Richard de Clare's avarice. 

In 1278, with John de Warenne and the earl of Lincoln Gilbert escorted Alexander III. of 
Scotland to the king. 6 The next year he was abroad and in Wales, and that year also saw a final 
settlement of the century-old dispute about the Tonbridge tenure which even the " butler " com- 
position of 1258 had not ended. An enquiry as to the "metes of the lowey " 7 (i.e., the bounds of 
the liberty) was ordered, and finally Gilbert did homage to Archbishop Peckham at Lyminge, a few 
miles north of Hythe, whither the archbishop went specially to meet him and received him with 
much pomp. 8 Here in the archbishop's chamber " before the hour of vespers, near his couch at the 
eastern end " (so particularly is the event recorded in the rather fussy archbishop's register), the 
earl of Gloucester tendered homage in these words : — 

" Jeo deveng voster homme sire J. par la grace de dieu arcesvesque de Cantirbirie, etc., encontre tous 
ceux qui peunt virre et murir de la terre que jeo tieng de vus sauve la foy le Roy." 

And Sir Bertram de Cryol (Criol of Ashenfeld) and others did homage at the same time. 

1 C. It., Nov. 16, 1275 (216). The female hawk was always more prized as the larger and stronger bird, the male being a 
" tiercel," i.e., one third smaller, and so the male falcon is called by Shakespeare "Tassel-gentle." But the goshawk (Fr. autour, 
from astar, of which " hostor " is probably a corrupt form) is a short-winged hawk used for flying at duck and smaller birds in 
marshy places, and not for stooping like a falcon at a heron. Cf. " Diary of Master Wm. Silence " (Justice Madden), 144-5 and 256-7. 

2 C. R., March 12, 1276 (274). 3 C. R., May 7, 1270 (338). J Plea Rolls of Exch. of Jens, 158-9 (200, 247). 

5 "Arch. Cant.," XV I., 27. 6 P. R., June 14, 1278 (269). 7 P. R., Oct. 20, 1279 (349) ; as to the "lowey "see above, p. 49, note. 
" Arch. Cant.," XVIII., 50. The reception is described in the first page of Abp. Peckham's register. Cant, and York Soc, 
Pt. XIV. (June 1908), 2. 

o 2 


Iii 1280 and 1281 Gilbert put in two seasons' hunting, having leave the first winter to sport 
(riveare, i.e., hawk) along all forbidden rivers in Somerset and Dorset, 1 and the whole river Kennet ; 
and the next winter to have his course (percursum) through the royal forest this side of Trent, for 
any harts moved by chance outside the forest in the season of grease (seisona pinguedonis) . 2 This 
meant that once his deer was afoot be need whip off for no royal forest bounds — a legalizing of a 
practice which it may be guessed he had already followed (like his father) when occasion served. 3 
That same winter he had a gift of twelve oaks fit for timber from the forest of Cypeham 
(Chippenham). 4 

It was probably in 1267-8 that Gilbert had begun his huge fortress at Caerphilly, where his 
ancestor Robert of Gloucester had perhaps had a castle, but although this was specially meant to 
overawe the Welsh, they were again in revolt from Chester to Carmarthen in 1282 and overran a 
great part of the country. At Devizes in April Edward appointed Gilbert his captain in West 
Wales with power to amnesty all who came in to the peace ; 5 but the rebellion was not easily 
suppressed, and Edward soon hastened to the relief of the hard pressed Marchers. A strenuous 
year of campaigning ended with the death of Llewelyn in December in a skirmish near the de 
Clare castle of Builth, and the consequent pacification of South Wales; but Llewelyn's brother 
David continued the struggle for another three months in the north, retreating to the fastnesses of 
Suowdon, where in the spring he was taken prisoner. Gilbert had been acting in close concert with 
the king through all these months of warfare, and motives of old friendship and policy combined to 
persuade Edward to confer still greater honours on him by a direct alliance with the royal blood. 
Accordingly in May 1283 at " Dolinthelen in Snowdon " (Dolwyddelan) a bargain was struck 
between them for the marriage of Gilbert, then aged forty-two, to Edward's second daughter 
Joan, then aged about twelve, who was called from her birth-place, Joan of Acre. 

The full Norman-French compact is in Rymer, and states that Gilbert is to be married to Joan 
as soon as he can prove to the king and his council that he is formally divorced from Alice 
(qe fa sa femme) and is free to marry where he will ; and also shew dispensation from the Pope to 
marry in such close consanguinity as are the king's daughter and Alice (they were first cousins once 
removed, by the half-blood). For the rest the bargain about the settlement of the land and 
2,000 marks appears exactly as it was subsequently carried out. Gilbert accordingly began to take 
steps to get free of Alice altogether, the divorce of 1271 being merely a mensa et thoro. 

But meanwhile the projected marriage remained a secret, and a great meeting of over 
100 barons was summoned at Shrewsbury. 7 Here David, 8 who had been in arms before and whom 
the king had 

''received as an exile, nourished as an orphan, endowed with lands, cherished with clothing under his 
protection and among the greater ones of the palace," 9 

was executed as a traitor, and measures taken for the building of Aberconway and other castles and 
the settling of the conquered country. 

Edward had now a firm grip on Wales and did not intend to allow the Marcher barons to call 
themselves owners there, and next year the /' Statute of Wales " introduced English law into the 
country and divided it into English counties. The birth of his son Edward at Carnarvon, too, was 

« P. R., Nov. 15, 1280 (104). * 0. R., Feb. 4, 1282 (146). 

- 0. E., July 5, 1281 (93). The river Kennet, which s Chanc. E. and Var., April 10, 1282 (213), and Maj 24 
falls into the Thames at Beading, rises in Wiltshire, where one (221-2). 

of its tributaries is tne Ogbourne Brook, on which stood the c Feed. O. E., II., 244. 

Priory of Monks of Bee, which had a claim on the church of 7 Feed., May, 1283 (97). 

Bleokingley. 8 Joh " dc 0x » 27G - 

1 Cf. above, carl Richard's hunt at Rowell, pp. 76-7. u Chanc. Rolls and Var., June 28, 1283 (281). 

THE RED EARL (1213—95). HIS DIVORCE. 101 

another link with the English throne ; although the baby's presentation to the Welsh people as 
their prince is now held to be apocryphal, and no Prince of Wales was created till 1301. ' 

Meanwhile, amid all his campaigning and plans for advancement, Gilbert did not forget his 
chief seat in Surrey, and it was on October 1st, at Acton Burnell near Shrewsbury, where 
Parliament was sitting, that king Edward granted to Gilbert and his heirs "a yearly fair at the 
Manor of Blescingeleye on the vigil, the feast and the morrow of All Saints" (November 1st). 2 

The arrangements for Gilbert's divorce were now being completed, and on May 16th, 1285, the 
agreement was drawn up. 3 The Lady Alice de la Marche is rather surprisingly described as the 
plaintiff in the action, in which 

"a definitive sentence was pronounced for her, and Gilbert is absolved wholly from the contract of 
marriage between tliern without wedding (nubcndi) her. Nevertheless in consideration of the nobility of 
her kin and being unwilling that for lack of suitable maintenance she should have cause for sadness, 
Gilbert has granted her for life the manor of Taxstede (Thaxted in Essex), as she now holds it, together 
with the great park, the manors of Wells and Warham (in Norfolk) with £8 lis. 8d. of rent, the surplus 
boon-works and perquisites of frankpledge, except wreck of the sea, also the manors of Wyston, Bureford 
(Burford, Oxon), and Spenhamlonde (in Newbury, Berks), as she now holds them, provided she observes 
the said sentence, and attempts nothing to the damage of Gilbert's honour or profit, and does not alienate 
or waste the said manors, in which case Gilbert may revoke his contract." 

The explanation of this curious "release from wedding" a woman to whom he had been 
married for thirty years, is that since the canon law of the Western Church allows no divorce in 
the sense of breaking a marriage and recognizing the remarriage of divorced parties (divortmm a 
vinculo matrimonii), but only legal separation (divortium a viensa et thoro) with no breaking of the 
lifelong bond between husband and wife, the recognized means of obtaining freedom from an 
inconvenient marriage was to procure its annulment. This was most usually done by discovering 
some inherent, and hitherto presumably unsuspected disability, which rendered the marriage now 
desired to be annulled void. A classic instance is that of the triply-brazen John, when he divorced 
Isabel of Gloucester on the plea that consanguinity in the third degree made the marriage null, 
though he had actually entered into the alliance in face of the inhibition of the Archbishop on that 
very ground. To meet de Clare's desire (and perhaps Alice's also), his marriage, for some plea now 
unknown but probably of informality or consanguinity, had evidently been declared void. Thus 
thei*e remained between them, despite the birth of children and the lapse of thirty years, only the 
engagement contract, a mere promise to marry, from the performance of which the lady, presumably 
from her piety and tender conscience, now begs excuse and gets it. The crux of such marriage 
questions turned perhaps most frequently on whether the words used at the espousals were 
de prcesenti, "I do now take thee to wife" (like a Scottish marriage), or de futuro, "I will take thee." 
And the famous decretal of Alexander III. (Pope 1159 — 81) had decided that even a marriage duly 
solemnized and consummated was invalidated by a pre-contract de prcesenti with another woman, 
whereas espousals de futuro might be set aside, though not by the parties themselves. This verbal 
distinction of present and future seemed wire-drawn and vicious to Luther as it well might 
nowadays, but it must be remembered that in early times the enforcement of the sanctity of 
nuptial contract by the Church was itself a great advance from the immorality and licence of the 
day. Moreover since Judaic and Teutonic law had combined to make child betrothals customary 
the Church stepped in to regulate them by insisting on a minimum age of seven years and 
qualifying them as de futuro and so dissoluble. 4 This was doubtless also pleaded on Alice's side in 

1 Prof. Pollard in "English Hist.," Euc. Brit., IX., 495. Ford Lectures, Led. II., io 1905, by A. L. Smith (Master of 

2 Ch. 11., Oct. 1, 1283 (268). Baliol Col.), published iu 1913 as "Church aud State in the 

3 C. K.., May 10, 1285 (357). Middle Ages," gives a clear and interesting account of the 

4 "The Papacy and the Mediaeval Law of Marriage," subject. See especially pp. 64 — 69. 


favour of the divorce; but the plain English of the matter evidently was that Gilbert wished to he 
free to many the king's daughter, and was powerful enough to get the case so put as to make it 
appear that it was the lady who desired to he set free. Possibly her appearance as plaintiff lends 
support to the theory that she was a lunatic, and so Gilbert was able to get her friends to put the 
case his way. 1 Little further is known, but it is clear that Alice, whose s}'inpathics were with her 
own family, had taken an opposite line in politics and thwarted Gilbert's plans for upsetting foreign 
favourites, so that little sympathy was left between them, while on Gilbert's side a chief motive was 
the desire for a son and heir, which Alice had never given, and now never would give him; and all 
this was coupled with the overwhelmingly dazzling prospect of marrying a daughter of the reigning 
king. It seems a cold-blooded sordid affair and finds a curious parallel in the behaviour of an even 
bigger man than Gilbert, who like him was lord of the manor of Blechingley, and like him took 
financial measures to assuage the sadness of a rejected spouse some 250 years later. The Lady Alice 
fades out of sight after this definite end to her thirty years of married life, but Gilbert did not 
obtain the necessary papal dispensation for his new marriage until the winter of 1289, 2 and he did 
not become the king's son-in-law till 1290 — seven whole years after Edward had first given his 
promise among the mountains of Wales. 

Gilbert had had two daughters by Alice : Joan, who married Duncan earl of Fife; and Isabella, 
born in March 1262 and already second wife and childless widow of Maurice de Berkeley, who had 
died on April 4th, 1281. Isabella in 1297 remarried with Guy de Beauchamp earl of Warwick. 3 So 
it cannot be said that their mother's divorce spoilt the daughters' prospects. 

In 1286 Gilbert v as abroad with Edward, and the next year he was on the marches in command 
of an expedition against Rees Ap-Mereduk, a near heir of Llewelyn. He again had power to grant 
amnesty in West Wales, and also had 400 wood-cutters and 2.000 diggers collected to carry out his 
orders. This may have been partly for the campaign, but was chiefly for the constiuction of the 
great foss which he made across the Malvern Hills to " prevent deer erossing the bounds of 
Herefordshire and not returning." 4 He had before had disputes with Thomas de Cantilupe Bishop 
of Hereford, and an assize in 1278 had declared that the episcopal chase extended to the summit of 
the Malvern Hills. 5 Cantilupe had thereupon roundly asserted his rights, and at Christmas 1279 
three of Gilbert's Malvern foresters, Robert Wvtlock, John le Rede of Blechingley e and Roger de 
Botlisham had under fear of excommunication made hnmble submission and sworn never again to 
trespass on the episcopal rights in Malvern chase. 6 This great foss got him further into a sharp 
dispute with Godfrey Giffard Bishop of Worcester, which was only composed by the intervention of 
the Bishop of Bath and Wells (Robert Burnel) when the bishop granted the earl his ditch, while 
Gilbert undertook that he and his successors would yearly give the bishop two fat bucks and two 
fat does from Malvern chase. 7 

In the spring of 1288 the barons, tired perhaps of their own dissensions and anxious for 
Edward's return, refused subsidies until he shewed himself again in England, and Gilbert was the 
mouthpiece of their complaints in Parliament. The chief immediate result was the levying of a 
heavy tallage on the towns and royal demesne throughout the realm and much consequent 
discontent. 8 

So disorders continued, and special injunctions issued on August 22nd to some of the chief 

1 Morant in his History of Essex (17G8), II., 437, b Ann. Mon. Wig., IV., 476. 

under Thaxlod, says that Alice was lunatic, but gives no 6 Reg. of Thos. de Cantilupe (Bp. of Hereford 1275 — 

authority for the statement; which vvas repeated in the 1282), Cant, and York Soc. (1907), 225 note and 227. 
Suffolk (Bury &. W. Suit.) ArchaeoL, I., 11, by Mr. Tymms 7 Hist. MtsS. Com., 5th Report 29!) a. and 9th Report 57 b, 

in 1840, but again with no support quoted. aud Ann. Mon. Wig., IV., 505; also Reg. Giffard (AVores. 

8 Feed., Nov. 1G, 1289 (108). ■ Pap. Reg. 1297 (570). Hist. Soc.), 3G1 (fol. 309 d). 

4 Chanc. B. and Var., July 23 (313). Fuel., July 10, 23, 8 Ann. Mon. O., IV., 31G. 

1287 (103;. 


barons, including Bigod earl Marshal, Gilbert, the earl of Warwick, Hugh le Dispenser, and others, 
forbidding their " going with horses and arms or armed bands in the realm," and ordering any 
disputes between them to be brought before the ting at Westminster that Michaelmas, and also 
appointing the king's brother Edmund earl of Cornwall as regent during the king's absence in 
Gascony and Guienne. 1 

All this, however, did not apparently prevent Gilbert from successfully conducting his 
campaign against the Welsh in what Thomas de Barton calls the "fourth " Welsh war (though he 
might as well have called it the fourteenth or the fortieth), for he took Eees ap Mereduk, who 
called himself Prince of Wales, prisoner. Gilbert sent him to York and there had him executed 
(distrain fecit et suspendi), but whether without, or after trial, is not stated. 2 There was, however, 
good reason for this severity, for the year before Rhys had broken truce with Gilbert, who never- 
theless allowed him to remain unmolested on the de Clare lands in Ireland, when he was defeated 
and escaped across St. George's Channel. The accusation of disloyalty to Edward which Wykes 
and the Oseney monk both record against Gilbert seems to be quite gratuitous. 3 

So Edward returned in 1280, after an absence of three whole years, hastened by the refusal of 
subsidies, and determined to put an end to the dissensions and private wars of the great barons. 
In June he formally ordered Gilbert to discontinue the assembly of armed men 4 and the building of 
a castle at Bregenhowe (Morlaix castle) on the land of de Bohun earl of Hereford. This order was 
disregarded, and early in February 1290 Gilbert's men marched from Glamorgan some six miles 
into de Bohun's land in Brecknock "with a banner of the earl's arms displayed" and burnt a house, 
broke a church and plundered right and left. Gilbert himself knew of it, and had " a third of the 
booty as it befits the lord to have in time of war by use and custom of the March." 5 

All this and more came out in the subsequent enquiry, but for the moment these disturbances 
on the Marches, a perpetually turbulent and disturbed country, either escaped notice, or else Edward 
thought it both honourable and politic to seek to end Gilbert's lawlessness by attaching him more 
closely to the throne as his own son-in-law. The king had not forgotten his promise made to 
de Clare among the Welsh mountains seven years before, nor his own motto — Pactum serva, "keep 
troth " — which afterwards was carved upon his tomb. Accordingly in April 1290 as a fitting 
preliminary to his royal alliance, Gilbert surrendered and released all his castles and lands in 
England, Wales and Ireland "to have and to hold to the king and his heirs to do his will thereof." 6 
This surrender was enrolled on April 20th, and Edward lost no time, for on that same day a 
mandate issued to the sheriffs of the various counties to 

" take and keep safely until further orders all lands and tenements in their jurisdiction, belonging to Gilbert 
de Clare earl of Gloucester and Hertford, the said earl having surrendered the same into the king's hands." 

The order for Surrey and Sussex is in general terms and does not specify the manors, perhaps 
in order to save time ; while signs of the carelessness of haste are visible in the order to the bailiffs, 
tenants, and others, for " Blescingeleye " is described as in Sussex and " Thilingdowne " and 
" Schipsted " as in Kent. 7 The earl was, however, to have his valuation as outgoing tenant on 

" corn in the granges and on the lands, ploughs and all other goods therein at a reasonable price to be 
fixed by chirograph between the king's attorney and the earl's deputy." 

William de Bridham, king's clerk, was the bearer of the mandate to the Surrey bailiffs. 

1 C. R., Aug. 22, 1288 (547). identical in both, so does not represent two considered judg- 

- Mon. de Mel., II., 251. meuts. 

3 Ann. Mon. W. and O., IV., 311. These two chronicles * Feed., June 26, 1289 (107). 

largely coincide, but while Wykes was a strong royalist the 6 Ch. R. and Var. (337-8). 

Oaeney mnrik was for the barons. This particular passage is 6 C. R., April 20, 1290 (151-2). ' P. R., 1290 (351). 


On May 27tli a regrant was made of all Gilbert's lands in Wales, Ireland, and England to 
Gilbert and Joan bis wife and their heirs, and mandates issued to various sbeiiffs to hand them 
over, with tbe exception of specified manors in different counties, among which were Blechingele 
and Okham in Surrey. 1 It is not clear why these exceptions were made, and the writs de intendendo 
of June 7th in favour of Gilbert and Joan include most of them. That for Kent and Surrey 
directed to William de Bridham includes Blechingley and Ockham, as does also the exemplification 
of the regrant made out on November 5th, 1320, at the request of Gilbert's three co-heiresses and 
their husbands. Moreover the}- seem all to appear in the inquest at Gilbert's death, so it is certain 
lie did receive them back, and the omission was due perhaps only to some difference of temporary 

The object of the surrender was perhaps partly to assert in black and white the royal authority 
as overlord of so powerful and tuibulent a subject, but the chief intention was undoubtedly 
a resettlement iu favour of the king's daughter and her future children by Gilbert, the effect being 
definitely to exclude all claims of the children born to Gilbert by Alice de la Marcho, or indeed 
any other de Clare heirs whatever. 

Gilbert settled 2,000 marks yearly rental on Joan, and renewed his fealty to Edward on his 
marriage ; he also swore that he would not hinder the succession of the young Edward, who was 
then six years old. At the same time the outstanding dispute about the bishopric of Llandaff was 
settled by Gilbert acknowledging the royal rights, and after a final settlement of all disputes 
between them the king granted Gilbert for life the temporalities and collation to dignities and 
prebends during voidance of the see. 2 This reads rather like a game of "say suzerain and you 
shall have it," but no doubt the Bed earl was an uncomfortable man to reckon with, and Edward, 
who it must be remembered had grown up with Gilbert and fought both against and with him, 
could not forget his help at the time of his own escape, nor the fight at Evesham and his strenuous- 
ness on the Marches. Edward was an astute as well as a strong mac ; he had nothing to gain by 
not being conciliatory, and king and earl, between whom there was only four years difference of 
age, understood and respected one another. 

And so on Sunday, April 23rd, St. George's day, 1220, the earl of Gloucester, 

" of supreme and singular nobility among tbe magnates of the realm and after the lung of pre-eminent 
and incomparable power," 

was married with all pomp and solemnity at Westminster Abbey to "the most serene" Joan of 
Acre, daughter of the king ; 3 and the de Clare family, united by the very closest ties with the royal 
blood of England, had reached the highest rank that subjects could attain. Immediately after 
marriage Gilbert promised Edward to enfeoff himself and Joan jointly of all lands he might acquire, 
for themselves and their heirs. 

And the next year at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire on Friday, May 10th, the countess of 
Gloucester, daughter of the king of England, 

"bore her husband a beautiful firstborn son, and both parents, alike overjoyed at the child being a boy, 
amid untold rejoicings held high festival and called their son Gilbert."* 

The news gave Edward such pleasure that "William son of Glay, king's yeoman," who brought 
the happy tidings to Norham, received a grant of £100 from wardships and marriages in reward. 5 

1 P. R,, May 27, 1290 (360). 4 J- de Ox., 278 (Ann. Mon. O., IV., 328, and Wig., IV., 

2 P. E., Nov. 3, 1290 (393), and Foed., April 17, 1290 505), which says May 11th. 

(109). s C. R., May 21, 1291 (169). Norhani was the Bishop of 

3 Gerv. Cant., II., 297, says April 30, but Ann. Mon. O., Durham's castle on the Tweed, where Edward was then trying to 
IV., 323-4, as above is probably correct. settle the much disputed succession to the throne of Scotland. 


The precious heir was baptized by Robert Buruel, Bishop of Bath, and Joan herself was churched 
at Caerphilly, where her husband had built some twenty years before the huge castle, the remains 
of which, " slighted " in Commonwealth times, are the most extensive in Waif s, and still testify to 
the wealth and greatness of the de Clares. 

The same year of Gilbert's royal alliance also saw the marriage of another daughter of 
Edward I., Margaret, wedded to John, son and heir of the duke of Brabant, in London on 
July 10th, when the king held high revelry, and the chief nobles vied with one another in the 
splendour of their retinues and equipments. Gilbert's train consisted of one hundred and three 
knights and sixty dames, which was greater than that of either Edmund, the king's brother, or 
even of the bridegroom's father. But the earl of Oxford, who was attended by twelve knights 
only, was held to have made the most sumptuous display of all. The citizens of London turned out 
in their fullest finery, nine hundred and fifteen in number, while seven hundred and nine knights 
and ladies danced in the palace and streets of the town. "And many other vanities there were," 
says the now wearied chronicler, "too tedious to relate." 1 

The year which saw little Gilbert's birth also saw the completion of the Taxation of Pope 
Nicholas, or valuation of all ecclesiastical benefices in the provinces of Canterbury and York, 
ordained three years before, in order to ascertain the amount of the tenth part of them granted by 
the Pope to Edward for six years, towards the cost of winning back the Holy Land. The king had 
never given up hopes of this, and when Archbishop Peckham preached a crusade, although the 
popularity of the idea was almost dead, many took the cross, among them Gilbert (for the second 
time) and Joan. They probably never started, and as Acre fell to the soldan that year and the last 
Christian soldiers were driven out of Syria, the crusade was abandoned and the money doubtless 
helped to pay for Edward's Welsh and Scottish campaigns. The Taxation was very unpopular with 
the clerg3 r ; in fact papal exactions and especially papal " Provisions," or reservations of the next 
vacancy of benefices for foreign priests, had at this date again deeply stirred national feeling, and 
that same year saw a strong letter of protest to the Pope from king and barons against " certain 
collations and executions lately published in England." By these, the letter says, the Pope had 
appropriated prebends in York and Lincoln to churches at Rome, which if carried into effect 
would — 

" threaten the diminution of divine religion, would change the wishes of original donors, woald withdraw 
the accustomed alms from the poor of the realm and would result in the manifest disinheritance of the 
king and his heirs, and would afford a pernicious example for the future, when these perpetual alienations 
would lead to others, whereby iu a short time the whole of the realm would be deformed and deprived of 
the service of ministers owing to the withdrawal of stipends, when the incomes of the church have been 
assigned to foreign uses, which would be most displeasing in the king's judgment to the Most High, Who 
desires the cult of His Name so to be spread that for the endowment of one altar another should not be 

The Pope was therefore requested. — 

" for the honour of God and the advancement of the English realm and royal crown, which the signatories 
are bound by oath to observe, to provide a suitable and wholesome remedy." 

It is a good example of the protests against papal domination and papal claims to dispose of 
English benefices, which occur at fairly frequent intervals in Plantagenet times ; and Gilbert, 
with the de Clares' traditional policy of England for the English, was naturally to be found 
supporting it. 

But meanwhile the Red earl was still pursuing his old quarrel with de Bohun on the Marches, 
and in fact his and his vassals' depredations on the earl of Hereford's land in Brecknock had been 

1 Cott., 177. 


almost continuous. But Edward was now in no mood to be trifled with longer. In January 1291 
an order issued to William of Louth, Bishop of Ely, William de Valence, and others who had been 
appointed a commission of enquiry into Gilbert's trespasses, to proceed with it, whether the parties 
withdrew or not, "as it concerns the dignity of the Crown"; 1 and the whole question was 
exhaustively gone into. A full record appears in the supplementary Welsh Eolls. 2 Gilbert was 
found guilty of three separate raids in February, June and November 1290, after he had received 
the king's formal inhibition, and accordingly he, John de Creppyng, the chief leader of his vassals, 
and others were committed to gaol. The earl of Hereford and his chief vassals shared the same 
treatment, but they were all "mainperned" (bailed out) till after the Epiphany. Finally Gilbert 
was condemned to pay the earl of Hereford £100 damages and made his peace with the king for 
a fine of 10,000 marks, 3 while the earl of Hereford did likewise for a fine of 1,000 marks. 
Gilbert escaped forfeiture of his Welsh estates because he had 

" married Joan the king's daughter and begotten issue by her and she has as much in the said liberty 
and all other lands of the earl as he has," bo that he is only tenant for life, and "it is not consonant with 
right that Joan or her children, who have in no way offended, should be disinherited for his offence." 

Further John de Creppinges and Gilbert's other vassals were pardoned as not having known of 
the prohibition issued to Gilbert, and were allowed to pay fines according to their trespasses and 
means. So the royal authority was fully vindicated, and Gilbert's power and that of all the 
Marcher lords received a staggering blow. 


Gilbert's turbulence was probably much fomented by his priestly brother Bogo. Thus in 1285 
the Abbot of St. Augustine's at Bristol was complaining that he had been seized and imprisoned at 
Cardiff by the earl and Bogo, and the Hereford and Gloucester sheriffs were ordered to make full 
enquiry; 4 and this kidnapping of the old abbot, who contrary to rule lived with his canon outside 
the monastery (and so was no doubt an easier prey), was only a sequel to Bogo's plundering, for 
Bishop Giffard's Begister records that at his visitation in 1284 he found the house in debt to the 
amount of £300, thanks to Bogo having "taken from them a church of £100 contrary to all 
justice." Accordingly in November 1285 the Bishop was applying to the sheriff of Gloucester for 
the abbot's release and to certify the king of the cause of his imprisonment. 5 

In 1291 again, just before the birth of the longed-for heir, Gilbert and his bailiff were ordered 
to "def-ist and release the distraint wrongfully made on the Prior of Goldcliff in Gloucestershire 
(now in Monmouthshire), and to answer for their contempt of the king and trespass on the Prior 
after Easter." 6 Moreover the grant for life of the temporalities of the see of Llandaff during 
voidance practically resulted in that see being held in pawn by the two brothers. 7 As lord of 
Glamorgan Gilbert claimed not merely the temporalities during voidance, but the appointment of 
all cathedral dignitaries, and accordingly made Bogo chancellor. Bishop William de Breuse died in 
1287, whereupon Gilbert seized the temporalities, and when the chapter elected Philip de Stanton, 
precentor of Wells, to the vacant see Bogo refused to attach the all-important seal to the return. 8 

1 P. R., Jan. 18, 1291 (452). * P. E., Nov. 6, 1285 (212). 

8 Chanc. E. and Var. (334—349), already quoted. s Peg. Giffard, Wore. Hist. Soc, 233 and 271. (Pol. 209 

3 This would probably represent over £100,000 to-day, and 235 d.) « C. It., April 4, 1291 (197). 

and no doubt like the 10,000 talents of Scripture merely ' " Per istum " says the monk as an epitaph on " Bonux " 

represented an impossible sum, never intended to be paid. after chronicling his death, " sedes episcopat us de Landa vaouvit 

It may be noticed that in such cases the Patent Polls and multis anuis." Ann. Mon. D., 389. 

Fcedera often vary, one recording marks and the other pounds, 8 Mr. Wakeman in " Journ. Arch. Assoc," XVIII., 373. 

perhaps at the fancy of the scribe. The Dtinslaple monk The documents are all given in Browne Willis's "Survey of 

(Ann. Mon. D., III., 370) rooording the judgment says the the Cathedral Church of Llandaff." Of. S.P.C.K., "Diocesan 

Quo wa» £10,000 on Gilbert and 1,000 marks on de Bohun. History of Llandaff," by Rev. E. Newell, 96-7. 




>J ^ "0 

£ ° .a 

(0 ^> •" 

5 "** 

a " 

J2 .S 

? c 



The see was actually vacant till 1296, though the Pope had appointed William de Hotham in 1290 
on Philip's failure to appear in support of his claim. 1 The last year of vacancy however was not 
directly due to the two de Clares who were both dead, and finally John of Monmouth was conse- 
crated in February 1297. 2 

But this priest brother Bogo was in his day a notorious person, and deserves for many reasons 
a fuller account thin can be found elsewhere of him. His curious name Bogo (genitive Bogonis) 
appears in contemporary writers as Bovo, doubtless a form of Bevis, and also as Boso or Bozo, 
Boenus (in the Registrum Roffense) and Bonus; while Leland, who wrote some 250 years after his 
death, no doubt intended Bogo by the Benedictus named in the corrupt de Clare pedigree which he 
gives in his Itinerary. 3 In any case neither Good nor Blessed was an appropriate form for Bogo 
de Clare. As for the name itself a Boso was Abbot of Bee in 1124 — 36, 1 and a cardinal Boso, 
nephew of Adrian IV. (the only English Pope), died about 1180. Bogo also occurs — a Bogo de 
Knovile was sheriff of Staffordshire in 1 290, and later of Shropshire, and he had a son also called 
Bogo, 3 and Bogo de Ludlow had custody of de Clare lands in Gloucestershire after Bannockburn. 6 
In the cage of this de Clare (the only priest of his line recorded), Bogo is the commonest form. 
That Bogo was identical with Bevis will appear presently, and the birth of Bevis de Clare on July 
21st, 1248, was duly recorded by the chronicler of the domestic monastery of the family, as Tewkes- 
bury may almost be called. 7 He was accordingly barely ten years old when he made what was to 
prove a highly characteristic debut in ecclesiastical life. 

The rector of Rotherfield, Henry de Reydone, died on May 30th, 1258, when the Bishop of 
Rochester and his monks, to whom the churoh of St. Denis Rotherfield had been granted by the de 
Clare lord a century or more before, presented John de Chishull. Earl Richard, however, claimed 
the alternate turn, and presented his boy Bogo. The job was too flagrant and the dispute went to 
the king's court, when Richard lost and de Chishull held the living for 15 years (with much other 
preferment), until elected Bishop of London on December 7th, 1273. He then resigned, whereupon 
the Bishop of Rochester, without the monks (who had surrendered their share in the patronage in 
exchange for a perpetual annual pension of two marks from the rector), presented Bogo, who thus 
became rector of Rotherfield and held till his death. 8 

But in 1258 earl Richard was not to be at the cost of keeping a younger son for nothing, and a 
year after the failure to secure Rotherfield the king presented " Bovo de Clare " to the church of 
St. Peter in the east at Oxford. 9 This living, with its chapelries of St. Cross and Wolvercot, was 
worth £40 a year and moreover carried with it the manor of Hotywell, which was worth a further 
£20 yearly. 10 But this was not enough, and next month " Bozo de Clare " was farther collated to 
the deanery of Stafford; 11 whereupon earl Richard's wrath againsb de Chishull was evidently 
assuaged, for in the following November 13 he granted to him the messuage, buildings, and wood in 
Rotherfield, which the preceding rector, Henry de Reydone, had held of the earl for life. 

Bogo thus fairly started before the age of twelve, nunc in ovilia, mox in reluctantes dracones — 
first on country rectories and then upon reluctant deaneries, 13 proceeded on his appointed path. In 
1265 during voidance of the archbishopric of York the king presented " Bovo " (called Bogo in the 

1 Pap. Reg., Sept. 15, 1290 (519). 7 Ricardo comiti Gloucestrirc nascitur Alius nomine Beves 

2 This John of Monmouth was presumably son or grand- XII. Kal. Augusti. Ann. Mon. I., T., 136. 

son of his namesake (d. 1247), who supported John in Charter 8 Registr. Roff., 595-6. See also Dr. Round's " Notes on 

days, and with whom young Richard de Clare made his Welsh Rotherfield Church " in Suss. A. C, XLL, 49—53. 
campaign in 1244. (See above, p. 71.) They bore the same 9 P. R., Aug. 25, 1259 (40). 

arms, which were the de Clare arms with a fess azure over all, 10 Hundred Rolls in Oxf. Hist. Soc. Collectanea, IV., 58, 

denoting either vassalage or kinship or both. also O. H. S. City documents (Th. Rogers), 184. 

- 1 Leland, IV., 155. 4 Ord. Vit., II., 493. " P. R., Sept. 10, 1259 (12). 

5 P. R., 1301 (3) and 1305 (396). >- P. R., Nov. 13, 1259 (63). 

8 Originulia Rolls, 14 E. II. (255). 13 Shade of Thackeray, forgive a devotee ! 

P 2 


margin) to the church of Howden in the East Riding, 1 and he was thus provided with three church 
preferments in Hampshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire before he was 18 years old, by which time 
no doubt his appetite was well developed. 

On January 30th, 1267, he was collated to a prebend of Exeter in succession to the deceased 
Precentor Ralph de Esington ; 2 while on the death of the rector of Kilkhampton (who had been 
presented six years before by earl Gilbert as guardian of the patron Richard de Grenvilie) de 
Grenville presented him to that rectory on September 17th, 1275. Kilkhampton in Cornwall is now 
in Truro diocese, but was then of course in Exeter, and Bishop Bronescombe supported the institu- 
tion of "the discreet man lord Bogo de Clare/' still presumably a canon of his cathedral, against 
the objections raised for unstated reasons by Archbishop Kilwardby. Whether Bogo kept the 
rectory, which in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas (1288 — 91) was valued at £14 13s. Ad., does not 
appear quite certain, but at any rate he still received an income from the "farmer" of it in 1285-6 
as appears from his accounts to be given later. 

Rotherfield had been added, as just seen, in 1273 when he was 25, and here he is found in 1282 
being ordered by Archbishop Peckham to pay the mouks their annual pension of 2 marks, which he had 
illegally withheld. 3 The occurrence of Bevis de Clare, parson of Fordingbridge in Hants in 1280,* 
and Bogo de Clare rector of Fordingbridge in 1294, 5 finally clinches the identity of the names. 
Moreover the action of Bevis at Fordingbridge in 1280 is characteristic of Bogo. He then claimed 
the right to a market, pillory, tumbril and assize of bread and ale, and took the amendment of the 
assize (i.e., exacted the fines) from the tenants of the church. When the case came before the 
justices in eyre it appeared that Bevis's only right was might ; the case was given against him, and 
his opponent William le Brune and his wife Isolda obtained a confirmation of their privileges from 
the king the next year. 6 

It seems impossible that the church and the de Clare family can have been afflicted with both 
Bogo and Bevis together, so they must be the same. Indeed all the stray notices of Bogo point to 
the same rapacity and high-handedness. His failure at Fordingbridge did not daunt him, for next 
year (1281) one John Atterwyndyate was suing Bogo for having unjustly summoned and fined him 
at his court (not named, but presumably Thatcham in Berkshire) and then distrained him by the 
hands of John and Adam de Leukenor, vassals of the de Clares." Atterwyndyate was the Abbot of 
Reading's man and owed Bogo no fealty whatever as he proved in court, when Bogo was ordered 
to pay him 40s. compensation for the trespass. 8 Such cases have a double interest, not only for 
Bogo's sake, but as shewing that in those days justice could, at least sometimes, be obtained by the 
small man against the oppression of a grasping noble. 

At Oxford Bogo was a big man as rector of St. Peter's in the east and (ex officio) lord of the 
manor of Holywell. But probably there was no manor house there in his day, 9 for he rented two 
houses from the Prior of St. Frideswide in the parish of St. Mary's; one called Cestre and the 
other Oriole Hall, or le Oriole, with a plot of ground between them. They were at the coiner of 
Schydiard (now Oriel) Street and St. John Baptist (now Merton) Street. He paid half a mark 
yearly for le Oriole and Is. for the plot, the rent for Cestre not being stated ; this no doubt was his 

1 P. E., 1265 (510). 5 P. E., 1294 (93, 95). 

3 Ecgisters of Bishops Bronescombe and Quivil, ed. Eov. * V. C. H., Hants, IV., 568. P. E., July 27, 1281 (451). 

P. Hingeston Eandolph (1889), 137, 147, 472, where Bogo's ' The Lewkeuors bore azure, 3 chevrons argent, another 

name appears variously as Bosome and Eogo de Clare, but the example of vassals cop} ing their lord's coat. 

identity is clear. The do Grenvilles or Gr-nvilles were 8 Abbrev. Plac, 273, Oct. of Triu. 9 Edw. I., 1281. 

ancestors of the earls of Bath and barons of Kilkhampton in 9 Oxf. Hist. Soc, " Wood's Survey," W. A. Clark, I., 388 

Bideford (extinct 1721), which they had held from Domesday nolo. The manor house was "built " or " re-edified " in 1516, 

times. aud no mention of it appears in the thirteenth-century notices 

3 Regiitr. Eoff., 591. of tho manor. 

* V. C. H., Hants, IV., 568. 



residence when at Oxford, and possibly even some of his wine-vaults are still in use. 1 A receipt in 
1277-8" shews that he was greatly in arrears of rent, while the proviso for a refund of any part of 
the nine marks then acknowledged, which " Dominus Bogo " could shew to have been already paid 
by him, suggests the difficulty of extracting money from the astute de Clare. Even when ordered 
by the king to give up a small piece of land belonging to Holywell manor for an addition to the 
adjoining Austin Friars he contrived to get a pious burgess to give him a perpetual rent of 4s. in 
place of the 3s. 2c?. he would lose, and so converted an act of charity into a profitable bit of 
business. 3 His bailiffs, too, at Oxford, like master like man, appear as grasping and arbitrary 
officials, illegally seizing the goods of a fugitive from justice, and removing a drowned man's corpso 
to St. Peter's church and there refusing the coroner sight of it. 1 

His Holywell manorial court claimed gallows-rights and at some date between 1275 and 1285 
Bogo's bailiffs re-erected a gibbet {de novo levaverunt furcas) on which a man was hanged for horse- 
stealing and a woman for some unstated offence. 5 

Bogo's jurisdiction was challenged and he appeared in person at the Eyre of 1285 and declared 
that all his predecessors in title, parsons of St. Peter's in the east, had exercised gallows-right ; and 
as all the jurors, including the specially summoned knights, concurred in this, the right was 
confirmed to him. The gallows stood at the east end of Holywell, and Bogo's successors, Merton 
College, to whom the king in 1266 granted the reversion of the manor, hanged a man there for the 
theft of a cloak worth 10s. in December 1337. fi Perhaps because of the very turbulent nature of 
the Oxford students, many of whom in the middle ages came from Ireland, the gallows survived 
for centuries and acquired the name of "gownsmen's gallows," so that the famous President of 
Magdalen Dr. Routh, who died in his hundredth year in 1854, could actually remember seeing 
two undergraduates hanged on them for highway robbery. 7 

So in this Oxford case Bogo was merely the lawful executor of the feudal justice of his day, 
however strange it may seem now that a parish priest could hang a man. 8 But evidence of 
Bogo's ill-deeds is amj)le without inventing any. 

In 1279 Archbishop Peckham was ordering him (then described as papal chaplain) to give 
up the tithes of which he had deprived Roger, rector of Sevenoaks, 9 while on June 10th, 1282, 
the same godly Archbishop expressed to Bogo direct the severest censure of his conduct. The 
immediate cause of the letter was his serious offence against canon law in bringing an ecclesiastical 
case against the Prior of Merton before the Abbot of Westminster and the Barons of the 
exchequer, i.e., before a civil court ; but the Archbishop sets forth Bogo's general extortion and 
corruption in round, terms. Peckham, who always wrote in rather stilted style, opened with a 
profession of his great consideration for Bogo's most noble relative the earl of Gloucester, but 
complained of the injury done to the Archbishop's friends, and then proceeded to state that he 
had the clearest evidence of Bogo's acts in depriving clerks of office, robbing them and the poor of 
their goods and bringing clerks to trial in civil courts. For all these offences excommunication was 
being fulminated against him by the papal Legate, and speedy reformation was earnestly urged 

1 Oxf. Hist, Soc, "Oxford Topography," H. Hurst, p. 57. 

2 Oxf. Hist. Soc, Cartulary of St. Frideswidc, I., 338-9 ; 
also Collectanea, IV., 31. 

The earls of Gloucester had a house at Oxford, and it 
seems tint Richard de Clare added considerably to it about 
1200, but later the Red earl gave it to the Benedictines, after 
which it was called Gloucester college till the suppression, and 
now forms part of Worcester college. Perhaps Gilbert the 
more readily gave away his house here because his brother Bogo 
had Oriel Hall, where he could put up if necessary. See Oxf. 
Hist. Soc, " Wood's Survey," II., 248 ; I ., 366. 

3 Oxf. Hist. Soc, " Wood's Survey," W. A. Clark, II., 

4 Oxf. Hist. Soc, City documents (Th. Rogers), 201, 210. 
4 Ibid., 211-12. 

11 Rogers' " Hist, of Agr. and Prices," II., 666. 

" Oxf. Hist, Soc, " Oxford Topography " (Hurst), 136. 

8 The Hundred Rolls (c 1275) record many minors with 
rights of gallows, tumbril and pillory ; e.g., Somerset 30, Wilts 
4ij, Devon 117, Essex 138. The return for Surrey is not extant, 
but Oxtedfor instance had furcas, piloria et teripechet, gallows, 
pillory and cucking-stool. 9 Epist. Cant.. R. S.. 10f.2. 


upon liiui by the Archbishop, who declared that he would have said all this to Bogo personally 
bad not Bogo deliberately avoided him at " the feast of Lincoln " when the Archbishop believed 
that Bogo had suborned a clerk to give him false information. 1 No doubt Bogo made sufficient 
submission to avoid unpleasantness with the Holy See, for he was still a Papal chaplain in 1286. 2 

Nor was Peckham the only Archbishop who fell foul of Bogo. Archbishop "Walter Giffard of 
York, who, as a former Bishop of Bath and Wells, no doubt knew him in those parts, refused to 
institute Bogo to the vacant living of Adlingfleet, 3 to which his mother Maud, dowager countess 
of Gloucester, who claimed the advowson as part of her dower,* had presented him on January 2nd, 
1268. Only four days before that John de Evile, the former owner of the advowson, and one of 
the "Disinherited" (whose last stand was made in the Isle of Axholme), had presented Master G. 
Giffard, Archdeacon of York and brother of the Archbishop. There was a long drawn-out dispute, 
the countess repeating the presentation of Bogo on September 22nd, 1268, while earl Gilbert 
presented Master Richard Jocelin on September 12th. 5 Adam de Filleby or Phileby (who appears 
as one of Bogo's guests in London, and was alleged to hold no fewer than thirty benefices for 
which he was totally unfitted) made himself very active on Bogo's behalf, and the dispute dragged 
on. The archbishop appointed proctors in June 1275, but the case was still unsettled when he 
died in 1279, and eventually Bogo appealed to the Pope, who appointed the Dean of Lincoln with 
his treasurer and precentor to try the case. These two last, however, were forcibly seized by a 
clerk called William de Saham, aided by two knights John de Vallibus and Roger Laveday 
(i.e., no doubt Bogo's friend Loveday), and imprisoned in order to extort evidence to be sent 
to Rome without the privity of the dean. For this alleged offence, which put Bogo in fear of his 
life and caused him to abandon the case and fly the realm, the Prior of Tollbridge was summoned 
peremptorily to answer at the Vatican. So runs the story as told by Bogo, Dean of Stafford and 
papal chaplain, to the Pontiff in 1282, actually fourteen years after Bogo had first been presented. 
But it may well be doubted whether the facts of the case were not very different. Bogo's 
unwonted timidity was probably feigned, and since Saham was a de Clare dependency, while John 
de Vallibus and William de Saham both appear in Bogo's accounts for 1284-5 as receiving gifts of 
silver-gilt cups with covers, the tale quite possibly conceals an attempt to pa}' off a grudge against 
the prior by laying Bogo's own lawless acts at his door. Indeed, this may be the very case of the 
suborned clerk alluded to about " the feast of Lincoln " in Peckham's letter of June 1282. 

How the matter proceeded does not appear, but in 1286 Archbishop le Romayn was still 
resisting Bogo's claim, when on May 1st the countess Maud revoked her presentation, admitting 
that she had no right to the patronage. This no doubt cut the ground under Bogo's feet, and in 
December the archbishop felt strong enough to sequester the fruits of the living, because Master 
Robert de Scarboro (presumably the de facto rector) had refused to guarantee his costs against 
Dogo at Rome, and in October 1287 Bogo at last renounced all claims on the living. Even so, he 
appeared by proxy two years later in December 1289 to oppose another admission. 7 

Meanwhile Bogo had secured another living in the diocese, being presented to Settrington on 
February 19th, 1283, by Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk. Archbishop Wickwane, however, attached 

1 Record of Merton Priory (Heales), 164-5, June 10, Axholme, where East and West Ridings both march with 

1282. The feast of Lincoln was no doubt that of St. Hugh, Lincolnshire. 

Nov. 17. For the Abp.'s letter from Peckham Reg., f. 185 v, 4 Reg. of Abp. W. Giffard, Surtees Soc, CIX., p. 269, 

see in above Appendix LXXXVII., pp. lv., lvi., but the text note. 
nt end seems to be corrupt. B Ibid., pp. 20, 27, 28. 

5 Pap. Reg., April 1280 (480). r > Pap. Beg., May 22, 1282 (400). 

■' Adlingfleet, where the splendid church must at this 7 Reg. of John le Romayn (Abp. L28fi— 96). Surtees 

date (1268) have been still building, or only just finished, is Soc, 1913, Pt. I., pp. 47, 03, 74, 91-3. The admission 

in the West Riding close to the confluence of Ouso and opposed by Bogo was that of Master Nich. de Lovetot on 

Trent, only just across the Lincoln border of the Isle of presentation by his father Sir John de L. 


the condition that Bogo should he ordained priest within one year of his institution, 1 and it may 
probably he assumed that this took place, for he held Settrington till his death. He held many 
other livings also, among- them Acaster, and in August 128G Archbishop le Romayn was calling on 
Bogo among others to shew his dispensation for holding in plurality. - 

The Adlingfleet matter was far from being Bogo's only quarrel with the ecclesiastical authorities 
of York. Described as " king's clerk," he had been granted the treasurership of the cathedral by 
the king in September 1285, the office being then in the royal hands during voidance of the see. 
Accordingly he at once " violently interfered with the revenues of the treasury," while Archbishop 
John le Romayn, then just consecrated, most stoutly opposed him. The chronicler says the storm 
at length died down, how he knows not.* But as John the Roman was the son of the 
Italian treasurer who had built the north transept and central tower, and himself soon after began 
the present nave, it may well be guessed that he could not brook a peculating treasurer. 

It is to be hoped he was successful in saving the main revenues of the cathedral from Bogo's 
clutches. As for the routine duties of the treasurer they were in the province of the dean and 
chapter, and Bogo's conduct of his office stank in their nostrils. A letter from them is preserved 
in the register of Archbishop Wickwane, which gives some damning evidence as to his behaviour. 
Addressed to their dearest colleague and brother with every form of christian forbearance, it presents 
a catalogue of sins of omission and commission which " they have hardly put up with out of con- 
sideration for Bogo and must now bring to his notice and demand redress." The vestments and 
thuribles, they said, were never mended ; incense and wax candles were not forthcoming when 
needed ; the bells were not properly hung, the clock unwound, and no fresh rushes strewn ; while 
the treasury servants were left unpaid and the books perishing for want of care. The palls and 
hangings for the church on great occasions were neglected, and silken cushions had even been taken 
for his own bed by one of Bogo's people ; so, too, church ornaments had been given to women to 
deck the rooms in their confinement or adorn their nuptial chambers. Moreover the late hours kept 
by the officials in defiance of their oath left the church at night unguarded and unlocked, while 
their constant quarrels among themselves were a scandal to the whole city. No contributions were 
made to church expenses by them, and in fact every bounden and customary duty of the treasurer's 
office was neglected and contemned. The letter ended with a threat of complaint to the king 
himself if matters were not righted. 5 The letter is not dated, but from the dean's name it cannot 
have been earlier than 1290, though Wickwane, in whose register it occurs, had then been dead 
some five years, while Bogo had had nearly that period in which to make his methods odious. The 
upshot of the complaint has not been found, but it may well be guessed that only Bogo's death a 
few years later made real reform possible. 

With so many irons in the fire as all this ci-iminous catalogue suggests, Bogo must have been 
an active stirring personage, and the considerable number of household accounts and other 
parchments relating to his affairs, which have come safely down to these days, shew much of his 
friends and how he passed his time. Indeed, Bogo's records deserve an editor and commentator 
qualified to do them justice in a monograph, that would deal not only with the manners and 
customs of the times, but with the price of provisions and groceries, of clothes and jewels, as well 
as with the stories of the friends he entertained. Here neither space nor the writer's knowledge 
admits of such a task, but since so much has been told of Bogo, the tale must be a little further 
coloured in the light of these quaint rolls, which shew him in the saddle or in his inn, dining 

1 Reg. of Abp. W. Wickwane, Surtees Soc, LXIV., was at once elected and went to Rome, where he was con- 

pp. 114-15. firmed Abp. without delay. " Dom. Bogo de Clare proventibus 

s Eeg. of J. le Romayn, ibid., 58, Aug. 28, 1286. thesaurarise Ebor. potenter se immiscuit; cui dom. archiep. 

3 P. R., Sept. 15, 1285 (193). pro totis viribus se opposuit ; tandem, nescio qualiter, tern- 

4 Ann. Mon. O., IV., 305. Archbishop Wickwane died pestas tota quievit." 

about the middle of May 1285 at Pontigny, and le Romayn i Wickwane's Reg., ibid., 286-7. 


his friends with every luxury or having his head regularly shampooed, and how much he was 
worth a year. 1 

Bogo, who in 1284 was only 36 years old, lived in great state, as became the brother of the 
greatest nobleman in England. His chief seat was some three miles from Usk at the castle of 
Tregug or Tregrwg, now known as Llangibby, where its remains, much battered by the Civil 
Wars, may still be seen. Earl Gilbert granted Tregug to his brother " Bogo and the heirs of 
his body lawfully begotten," and on Bogo's death Avithout such heirs the castle and manor 
reverted to the earl.- 

Besides Tregug (or Tresgruk, which is perhaps the most usual spelling of it in the accounts), 
Bogo rented a house at Oxford, as already seen, though probably he had no manor house at Holy- 
well. He certainly had a house at Thatcham in Berkshire, to which he sent wine from London 
(2 casks £4 10s. 0d., carriage 3s. 10d.) ; two mortars Is. §\d. (his servant John Fox being paid 2s. 
for seeing them all safe there) ; and on another occasion two dozen lamps (costing 7c?. apiece and 
8d. for carriage), besides all sorts of groceries (species), for which a bag was bought (price 6d. and 
hd. for cord to tie it up — pro dido sacco ligand'), and 400 pears for 3s. 3\d. at another time. Pro- 
visions, such as pork and corn, were also sent from Dorking, so he clearly had land there also (if 
not a house), and this was probably the small manor of Hamsted which had been de Clare property 
from Domesday times. 3 The accounts say "corn from store of the manor of Dorking," which is 
probably a loose expression for Hamsted, since Dorking itself was a de Warenne manor. Bother- 
field also sent him provisions, and the rector doubtless had a house there, though probably Bogo 
very rarely visited it. 

And when Bogo went to London it was in his own house that he entertained his friends. Its 
situation is not indicated, except that as Bogo paid once for his guests' "passage from Westminster 
to London " it would seem to have been in London proper and on the river (which suggests as a 
guess somewhere on the site of Baynards castle, the property of his relatives the Montfichets). 

In 1284 he made some alterations and additions to this house, buying "4 loads of stone to 
make a wall in the new garderobe, and repairing walls in the other garderobe in the new chamber, 
15s. IOcZ." Sand, cement, lead, plaster and so forth figure in the account, which includes also twelve 
boards for the three wardrobe doors, and pro sedibus gychettis ad altare and ad planchiandum novam 
gardrobam et pro uno etilhadio 5s. l^d. and 16 lbs. lead ad plintandum predictum stilhadium. 

Were these wicketed seats, flap- seats to the altar, because there was no space to make sedilia? 
or has " et " dropped out and were the seats and " wickets " separate things ? l The expression 
"gychef de altare" (see note) 1 makes this most probable, and if so the "hinged altar flap" was 
probably a folding table hanging down when not in use. When required for a celebration it would 
be raided like a butler's flap, and a " portable altar," i.e., a consecrated slab of stone, some 18 ins. 
square, would be brought by the priest and placed on it. Such a flap is in use at this day in a 
small chapel at Mill Hill. 5 But what was a stilhadium? — a sink in the pantry lined with lead? 
more probably a piscina? and the garderobe a real vestry? The account also included two glazed 
windows (u fenestr vit'is emptis cum iota ferrura de novo 2s. Id., which sounds cheap), a cupboard 

"' "Journ. Arch. Assoc.,'' XVIII. (1862), G6 — 75, con- 4 The next entry, " Pro guufis claus' et utenell' erupt' 

tained a capital paper by the Rev. C. H. Hartshorneon Bogo's ad t'a host' gard' et ad gychef de altare 3s. l^d." "for close 

accounts, but the writer has gone to the originals at the hinges and furniture bought for the three garderobe doors and 

Record Oflice for all that follows. The ref. at R. O. is Lists the wickets of the altar " seerus almost to prove that the seats 

and Indexes XXXV., Exchequer Acct., Bdle. 91, Nos. 1 — 8 were separate from the wickets. But the twelve boards seem 

inch to have cut up into a good many things. Neither stilhadium 

1 I. P.M. Joan, Countess of Gloucester. Jour. Brit. nor plinto (as a verb), nor gychettus (as an adjective), occur 

Arch. Assoc, XVIII. (1862), 372-3. in Uucange. 

:l V. C. II., III., 146-7. M. and B., T., 5C5. The lust '' Mr. Maiden kindly supplies this information given him 

earl held it at his death in 1314. by a Roman Catholic priest. 


(pro factwa cujusdam almarice in gardroba cum serrura et aliis ad idem pertinentibus 3s. %\d.), and a 
door broken out and reformed in the stone wall between the new room and the chapel (which sounds 
again like a vestry). Just like a modern builder's bill, it gives all items for material and labour 
priced separately, including \0d. for cleaning up after the workmen had left. The total was 
£6 Is. 2U. 

Besides all this a " tnmberell " was made in the courtyard over the well (i.e., a frame on which 
to wind up the bucket). For this a beam was bought for Is. 6d., carriage 4d. ; carpenter's work 
10(7. ; iron and nails Ad., which, with material and labour for (apparently a second) aumbry, added 
a further 6s. ; and the faithful Walter de Regny stayed in London for three weeks (after Bogo 
went back to Tha-tchain on Wednesday after St. George's day, April 23rd) to superintend 
the work. 1 

Clearly therefore Bogo had a town house of considerable size and importance, Avith a courtyard, 
a chapel and at least two or three private rooms, besides of course a hall and all the usual offices; 
so probably he went to London regularly " for the season," and some account of his doings there 
in 1285 shall be given presently. 

But in the spring of 1284 he Avas urgently busy, partly apparently for the king, and his 
movements are worth chronicling. Thus on Monday May 1st he was at Ruthin, where the Dean of 
Oxford met him; next day at Conway and then along the coast, supping at Bangor; to Carnarvon 
on the 3rd. There he stayed till Monday in order to meet Adam de Gurdon and Henry de Cokinton. 
Then to Lanagust (Llanwest), and on Tuesday 9th he arrived late for dinner at OsAvestry. 2 Erom 
here his servants Robert Cook and Robert Hasting Avent forward to prepare the way, while Bogo 
pushed on as far as Shrewsbury and stayed there one night to give them a start. Then on 
Thursday May 11th, having evidently now received all his information and orders, he started for 
the Isle of Axholrae. His stages were NeAvcastle-under-Lyne, Derby, Nottingham and Bawtry, at 
all of Avhich he stayed one night, reaching the Island on Monday May 15th after riding some 
200 miles in five days. No doubt he kept to the best roads, but NeAvcastle seems much out of the 
Avay, and it looks as if the Dean of Stafford was very shy of his decanal toAvn, which lies directly 
between Shrewsbury and Derby. At "the Island," a real and biidgeless island then, he crossed no 
doubt by Haxey, paying 4d. for "bread for the sailors" and giving the boat-boy 2d. ; and there 
wood had to be bought for a fire to dry his clothes (Ad.) occasione magnae pluviae. EpAvorth was his 
destination and there he stayed till Wednesday, when he went to StoAve some 15 miles south and 
next day to Lincoln, where Brother Nicholas, W. de Stokesby and others dined with him on 
Thursday; and the Prior of the Order of St. Augustine's and others on Friday. This particular 
account ends on Sunday after Ascension, May 21st, at Lincoln, and the total cost in just three 
weeks was £12 14s. 6|cZ., the number of horses being 12 at Stowe and 10 at Lincoln. Of these, two 
or three Avere probably pack-horses, Avhile very likely Bogo would have a second palfrey led so as to 
have a change of horses for himself; but there is nothing definite to sheAv the exact number of his 
retinue. It was clearly a forced march and probably boded ill to someone, for EpAvorth had been a 
MoAvbray manor and Roger de MoAvbray was dining with Bogo at Lincoln on Monday 22nd and 
again on Thursday 25th (with Robert de la Warde, Richard de Coykyn, Philip de Colevill and 
others). It should be noted that Mowbray had exchanged Epworth, with the whole Isle of Axholme 
and several manors in Yorkshire, Avith Henry de Lacy earl of Lincoln (who was Bogo's first cousin), 
for manors in Lincolnshire in 1282, but nothing is said of the advowsons. 3 Perhaps de MoAvbray 
Avould retain at least the next presentation. 

1 Exchequer Acct., Bdle. 91, 3, M. 1 and 2. salt fish 2d. ; wood 2d. ; candles 2d. ; mending a boat to carry 

2 A fair sample of one day's travelling expenses is added the harness over, carriage and stabling 6rf. ; dinner of the lord 
here: Bread 2s.; wine 1.?. id. ; eggs 2\d. ; butcher's meat and family at Denbigh 2*. 1^.— Total 15*. O^rf. 

2s. Id. ; gOHt's flesh 2d. ; notage lrf. ; salt \d. ; plaice for those 3 C. R., July 3, 1282 (191). 

who fasted Stf.; hay and forage 20d. ; aquartfrof oats 3*.; 



However that may be, the next Sunday, being Whit Sunday (for Sundays rarely seern to have 
interfered with business), Walter de Eegny was sent from Lincoln to the king in Wales. Six days 
he took to reach Carnarvon "to transact the lord's business with the king and queen," and nine 
days he waited there to "know the will and answer of the king," receiving the usual allowance of 
2s. a day and 2s. 7d. extra for stable and lodging. From Carnarvon he went on to Tresgruke, and 
finally met Bogo near Shrewsbury on June 18th. Next week he went back to Epworth in Axholme 
for two nights and thence returned to meet Bogo again, whom he found at Denbigh, after awaiting 
him vainly five days at Shrewsbury. This hurried journey had perhaps to do with the Adlingfleet 
case, but it looks rather as if Bogo was attempting to secure the valuable rectory of Epworth before 
de Mowbray had parted with all interest in it. 

In any case the attempt seems to have failed, for Walter de Eegny returned no more to 
Epworth, and at the end of July was on Bogo's business at Stafford and Tresgruke and London. 
Thence he went to Lincoln and waited four days while a new scheme of church plunder (apparently 
abetted by de Mowbray) was on foot, which can be briefly traced in the accounts. On October 28th 
de Eegny went from Lichfield to Leicester, which Dom. Abel, Bogo's steward, and W. de Mullesworth, 
his retainer, had just left. There he found Master W. de Burnham and Thos. de Bruges, and after 
being joined by Master Ealph of Oxford and de Millesworth 1 they all went to Melton (i.e., Melton 
Mowbray), where on Saturday November 4th was held the "Inquest about the church of Melton." 
On Sunday de Millesworth and de Eegny left for London with news of the result ; and thence 
de Eegny with Thomas de Cardoleo proceeded on November 13th to the Bishop of Lincoln (then 
Oliver Sutton) at his palace at Thame with the same news. They were four days going and 
returning, and on Saturday November 25th de Eegny was charged with another mission from 
Bogo to the Bishop at High Wycombe "about the institution of the church of Melton." His 
companion was again Master Ealph of Oxford and they spent the Sunday at Thame, where 
presumably they found Bishop Sutton. Next day, with the "Institution" in his pocket (post 
institutionem adeptam), de Eegny with Master Ealph and W. de Melkesham went straight to 
Melton, where the faithful de Eegny lodged with one brother Eobert de Haybi, so that his expenses 
for the day were only Is. instead of 2s. After a hurried visit to Northampton and Lincoln, evidently 
to collect them, he was back at Melton on Saturday November 31st with the "bailiffs of the 
lord Eoger de Mowbray, a chaplain, clerks and others," and everything was now ready for the final 
scene. Accordingly on Sunday, December 1st, in the presence of all these and also of the 
Dean of Framland 2 and the parish generally, eight Serjeants were set to guard the church doors of 
Melton to prevent any provisions or other necessaries being taken in to the clerk and chaplain, who 
claimed the vicarage and were holding out in the church. 3 That day the expenses totalled 9s. 8^d., 
and the next day, when the bishop's officials joined the party watching the unfortunate 
vicar and his chaplain, they were 8s. 3|d., the bishop's people being no doubt at the episcopal 

On Tuesday the besieged were evidently starved out. Walter de Millesworth and Eichard 
de Wynton arrived, and the former took over de Eegny's duties, while de Eegny himself started for 
London with the news that Bogo was duly instituted rector of Melton. 4 He was three days on the 
road and stayed four days in London, where he took over Bogo's wardrobe from Ealph de Sicca Villa 
and Hugh of Oxford, and so ended his separate account of expenses over the Melton job, having 
spent £10 12s. 6{d. from October 28th to December 9th. 

1 William do "Mullesworth," "Millesworth," "Moles- in eadem ecolesia ne permitterent aliquein cibaria vel alia 

worth " are clearly all the same person. neecssaria defferre capcllano predicto vel eidem clerico. Ibid., 

■ Melton is in Framland wapentake or Hundred. 91, 2, M. 2. 

3 . . . . Presentibus (as in text) et viii servientibus * Ut nuntiaret quid actum erat apud M. super institu- 

custodientibus ostia ecclesie de Melton propter clericuni et tionem ecclesio de Meltou. Ibid. The inference seems clear. 
capellanum oustodienl p ionem vicarie ejusdum ecclesie 



The tale is a long one, but the details seein worth recording- as shewing- how by fear and favour 
such men as Bogo battened on the church, and how well their retainers did their work for them. 
As for Roger de Mowbray he was the third of that name (d. 1297) and had married Eoysia or Eose 
(i.e., Eohaise?), sister of Bogo. She was born at Llantrissan at Christmas 1252 l and bore Eoger a 
son John in 1286, who became 8th Baron Mowbray, married Alice de Brewose in 1298 and was 
hanged after Boroughbridge in 1322." It may be doubted whether it was only for kinship's sake that 
Eoger gave Melton to Bogo ; but at least de Eegny's accounts of payments as " wardrober " in 
1285 record no money paid to Eoger, though he and his friends (socii) or his "family " (i.e., house- 
hold, or personal attendants) were frequently at Bogo's hospitable table in London. 

Indeed the accounts give copious details of Bogo's guests with all that they ate and drank, and 
it would seem that, when in town, he entertained largely but practically never " dined out." Edmund 
de Mortimer and his brother William were constant guests, and many " Serjeants " and others came 
from the king's court and from the Exchequer and Bench ; also occasionally " pleaders " (narratores) , 
members of the bar as we should say, and of course ecclesiastics, as the Priors of Strigul (Chepstow) 
and Huntingdon and Wallingford, the Master of the fellowship of St. Anthony, the Bishop of 
Lichfield (then Eoger de Molend or Longespee), friars preachers, and so forth. The great 
earl of Gloucester dined with his brother several times, when there was always a grand feast and 
something specially nasty (as we should think), such as swans (in cycnis 15s.) or cranes (in grues 10s.), 
and dinner cost as much as £8 Gs. on one of these occasions. Other frequent guests were de 
Turbervilles, de Sicca Villa (Sackville), de Lamborne, de Haspal (Aspale) — Master Geoffrey de 
Haspale and his brothers Eoger and John were Bogo's attorneys in 1278-9, when he was going 
overseas 3 — Eichard de Brus (a kinsman), de Lewkenor, de Clinton, E. de Littlebird, Henry de 
Cokington, and on more than one occasion Adam de Blechingley. Now and then " Gascon 
merchants" or "Jocco le Accatour" (i.e., l'Acheteur, the dealer) suggest business connections 
while buffoons (or perhaps Jugglers, Joculatores) were hired sometimes to amuse the table after 
dinner, and roses were bought to adorn the feast. Clearly Bogo lived on the fat of the land, and 
his rapacity barely enabled income to keep pace with expenditure. De Eegny's wardrobe accounts 
for the half-year shew this, and the details of income are here transcribed. 

Eeceipts of Walter de Eegny, wardrober of Sir i Bogo de Clare, from St. Gregory 1284 5 to 

Michaelmas 1285. 

From Davit le Graunt at London ...... 

,, ,, ., Thatcham ...... 

„ John de Posewik 6 at London ...... 

,, Davit le Graunt ,, ...... 

„ Master E. de Baillol for arrears of the farm of Haliwell per Mast. E. de 

Carried forward ...... 

£ s. 


2 16 



1 10 


13 6 


£37 13 4 

1 Ann. Moil. T., I., 160, where no name is given, but on 
p. 149 the chronicler says under 1252 "Roys Alius Ric'i com 
Glouc. nascitur in vigilia Sti. Lucse " (Oct. 17), which is clearly 
a confusion for the birth of the daughter three months later. 

- Hasted makes Roysia, sister of earl Gilbert (d. 1230) and 
great aunt to Bogo, wife of Roger III., but this is clearly 
wrong. Nigel de Mowbray (d. 1191) married Mabel, dau. of 
Roger de Clare, 2nd earl of Hertford, Bogo's great-great- 
grandfather, so that B:go was third cousin as well as brother- 
in-law to thi* Roger de Mowbray. 

3 P. R., June 11, 1278 (268 and 326). 

4 Dominus, an elastic word, seems property rendered Sir, 
as it would be for any priest without a degree, but probabty in 
English Bogo would be styled " Lord." Master is of course 
Magister, but Bogo had not graduated. 

6 St. Gregory is March 12, therefore this means 1285 
(modern style) and the account covers half a year only. 

G Postwick (pronounced Pozzic), near Norwich. 

7 The manor of Holywell, Oxford. 

Q 2 



Brought forward 
From Davit le Grauut per Thomas le Fox 

„ Remund de Sulye at Tregruk .... 
„ Siuion Girarcl from the Society of Mori x 

(2 sums) 
,, ,. ,, „ (various sums) . 

„ Robert of Bishopeston for term of St. John Bapt. 
,, ,, ,, per John Avenel for farm of Donccaster 

,, Eobert le Petit and others, farmers of Langeford 2 
„ Dom. W. de Melk [sham] by letter 
„ ,, ,, arrears of Polstede 3 

,, John de Lewkenor at Westminster 

„ William farmer of Rotherifeld for term of St. John Bapt. 
,, Walter, clerk, moneys received at Stafford * 
,, John Bailiff of Owing' 5 . 

,, the juryman of the lord of Boking' fl . . . 

,, the vicarage of Frent' ' for term of St. John Bapt. 
,, Geoffrey, farmer of Saham 8 for ,, „ 

,, Henry the Chaplain, farmer of a certain chapel belonging to the church 

of Dorking ° ...... 

„ Master John de Molesworth per W. de Molesworth 

,, ,, „ ,, for farm of church o 

Donemawe !n . 
„ Dom. Ralph de Hengham for Easter term for farm of church of Swanes 

camp u per Peter, clerk ..... 

„ Treasurer of the New Temple in London for the lord's pension fo 

Easter Term 1285 . ..... 

„ Walter Cook, serjeant of Dorking .... 




















s. d. 

13 4 


7 10 

6 S 

6 8 

6 8 


13 4 

46 13 4 

31 17 8 

31 18 6 

2 10 

15 2 

£672 10 7 1 - 

For the same period de Regny's total payments were £688 13s. 4|c?., leaving a balance 
due to him of £16 2s. 10K 13 

One other income account may be compared with this, 
so the account covers a full five months. 

Whit Sunday fell on June 2nd in 1286, 

1 Mori, Mosi, Mozi,Mozzi all occur. They were a society 
of merchants at Florence, first mentioned in 1288 (P. It., 310, 
'.', 17), when the king owed money to a member of the Mori, one 
Restaurus Bonaventure. Many of these Italian trading 
societies came over to England about 1254, when Pope Alex- 
ander IV. employed them as mortgagees and duns of that 
"royal Mieawber" Henry III. See "Church and State in 
the Middle Ages," A. L. Smith, 189-190. 

■ Perhaps Langford in Essex on Hie Blaokwater, a Fitz- 
Walter manor, but there arc Langfords in Beds, Notts, 
Norfolk, Oxon, o(c. 

■ Polsted in Compton, Surrey. V. ('. II., III., 20. Simon 
I'as;,ilew, the king's clerk, acquired it of llugh de Poktcd in 
12G1, and later it was owned by the Wintershulls. 

1 Denar* reo' apd Stafford. 

? Oving near Chichester or Oving in Bucks. 
11 ? Booking iu Essex. 

7 Frant, a chapelry of Rothcrfield, lying partly in Kent. 

8 Saham Tony in Norfolk, where Richard de Clare the 
Crusader, who died 1190, held land. See above, p. 52. 

'■' This was Capel, of. M. and B., I., 590 and 592, note. 

10 Dunmow, Essex. 

11 Swanscombe, 5 miles east of Dartford, Kent. Ralph dc 
Hengham was chief justice of Kiug"s Bench 127-1—90, when he 
was dismissed and heavily fined; died 1311. Presumably 
identical. Bogo paid 2.?. for a ring as a presentation to John, 
de Hengham's chamberlain in 1285. 191, 1, M. 2 dors. 

lJ Sic; but it adds up really to £1)72 10.?. GV., which 
i - with de It iguj 's statement below. 
13 91. 3, ad iuit., and ibid., M. 3. 














Receipts of Walter de Begny, wardrober of Sir Bogo do Clare, from Tuesday at 

Christmas 1285 to Pentecost 1286. 

From Walter de Molcsvvortli ...... 

„ Master Stephen de Balliol ..... 

,, the farmers of the prebend of Stafford, per Brother AVilliam Le Bous 
,, the farmer of Forthingbrig 1 per Dom. Balph de Bernes, sheriff o 


,, Henry, chaplain of Sir Edmund de Mortimer per Master Hugh de 

Stamford .... 
,, "Walter Antoygne, clerk, of London 
„ Society of Mori per Benche 8 
„ „ „ „ (2 sums) 

„ farmer of Kykehamton 3 
,, ai'rears of Dom. Balph de Sicca Villa 
„ „ Bobert Cook and Roger le Waleys 

„ „ Thomas de Cardoleo 

,, ,, Dom Abel 1 de Horkeleye 

„ John Wyn, bailiff of Owinge 

„ Treasurer of ~Ne\v Temple, London, Easter Term, 1286 . 
„ Dom. AVilliam de Melkessam after Easter 12S0 . 
,, farmer of Forthingbrig' per Horn. Balph de Berns, sheriff of Oxford 
,, farmer of Polsted after Easter 1286 .... 

„ „ Altellagii"' de Polstede ..... 

„ Master Stephen de Balliol, farmer of Halliwelie for Michaelmas term 

1285 ....... 

,, Hospital of St. John, London, 6 for Ascension Term, 1286 


1 10 



3 10 



5 7 



33 6 


2 10 


6 13 



2 13 


8 13 


26 13 


Sum Total £564 2 7 

It looks as though at this date Bogo's gross annual income was well over £1,200, since these 
two rentals cover little more than a twelvemonth between them. Further of course, there must be 
added the unknown and varying produce of all his land, an income in kind, fluctuating indeed with 
harvests and murrain, but which constituted the vast bulk of the nation's wealth, in days when 
money was scarce and little used, so that an income of £1,000 in hard cash represented enormous 
wealth. But the outgoings for business and wages were heavy, as de Regny's payments shew : — 

Cash Payments. 8 

To Bemund de Sulye per Davit le Graunt and to J. de Bello Campo per the 

lord's letter after St. ParnelPs day [May 31] . 
„ Dom. Boger Loveday by Lord's order and per letter 
„ ,, William de Bromthou (? Brompton) . 

Carried forward 

£ s. d, 

26 6 8 


13 6 8 

£59 13 4 

1 Fordingbridge in Hunt;-, where Bogo was rector. 

; For Mori see p. 116, note 1. Does Benche mean " bank," 
almost as we understand the word ? 

:i Kilkkampton in Cornwall. See p. 10S. 

* Abel the steward, no doubt, so often mentioned iu do 
Regny's accounts. 

5 Alfcelagiuni = Altaragium, obventio altaris. '' Vioaria 
iu eccl. S. Martini de Stamforde eoiiMstit iu toto alteragio 

dictse ecclesiaj." (Charla. Oliveri Ep. Line.) " Medietatem 
decimse bladi euin toto aiteragio ejusdem." (Charta Iticardi, 
Dunelm.) Ducange. Altar offerings, or fees. 
11 At Clerkenwell. 

7 Ibid., 91, G ad iuit. ; 91, 7 is a duplicate of this rental 
and much clearer. 

8 Liber[acio] denar[ioraiu], 91, 3, m. 3. 



Brought forward 
To Dom. Eobert de Littlebird 
„ Bobert de Bradefeld . 
„ William de Kellawe . 
„ Sir Edmund de Mortimer 
,, ,, „ per letter 

„ „ ,, per Henry the Chaplain 

„ Dom. Abel on lord's business to the Bp. of Hereford 
„ „ Willin. de Melk[sham] on lord's business at Hereford 
„ Brother William of the Hospital of St. Anthony, on lord's business at 

Hereford . 
,, Brother William of the Hospital of St. Anthony, for his expenses to the 

Bp. of Hereford ...... 

„ Master Thos. de Cardoleo for lord's business at Walingeford 
,, Master Robert Medico, a gift .... 

„ Roger le Waleys for expenses toTach' (Thatch am) Saturday after St. Parnell 
„ Master Montero for his expenses to York by lord's order . 
„ ,, „ for a horse allowed to him to ride to York 1 

,, Willm. de Gretou for his exjjenses to York, 15 days 
„ John de Posewyk for his expenses to the court of Rome 
,, Master Balph of Oxford by lord's order 
For a house hired at Leicester for the lord on his journey by view of 

W. de Molesworth 
To Dom. Willm. de Melk' for lord's business at Rotheriffeld, Foisted and 

Tregruk ........ 

„ Ithell accompanying the lord for his expedition to Wales by lord's order 2 
,, Jacobel for expenses to the court of Rome .... 

„ Dom. William de Stokes for his winter robe 

„ „ ,, de Melk' ; Masters Ralph of Oxford, Thos. de Cardoleo, 

Dom. Thos. le Fox, a winter robe apiece at £3 Gs. 8d. (except Ralph de 

Oxford, whose robe was paid for by the vicar of Saham) 
,, Walter de Regny for 2 robes, summer and winter . 





























1 4 










Total £221 9 G 

A list for 1286 3 shews that eight men received cash for a "robe" from Bogo at Whitsuntide 
(roba aestivalis), William de Stokes being down for £5 and all the others £3 6s. 8d (5 marks) apiece 
These were Domini Robert de Littlebury (elsewhere Littlebird), Robert de Retford (the king's clerk, 
whom after Bogo's death eavl Gilbert attempted to make rector of Rotherfield), and Rowland de Doel, 
archdeacon ; besides Masters Ralph of Oxford and de Cardoleo and Domini de Melkesham and 
de Regny, who appeared before. Despite de Doel being an archdeacon the gift was not merely a 
complimentary one, but apparently, like all the others, in the nature of what we should call 
" livery," since the description in each case is pro roba sua de festo Pentecost, which clearly implies 
a customary claim to it. 

Other accounts 4 shew Bogo buying horses ; a very cheap one at 16s. bought by Walter, clerk ; 
and much more valuable (or at least more expensive) animals, bought from his own dependents. 
Thus Walter de Molesworth sold him a horse for his long cart (ad longam careitam, is it possible 

1 This must be for horse hire, not purchase. 
: Ithell was quite possibly an illegitimate cousin, perhaps 
a bastard of Uogo's uncle William or Gilbert, for in 130L 

(P. It., 567) in a list of pardons occurs the name of "Jevan 
ap Ithell ap Clare." 

3 91, 6,m. 5. ' si, ;!, m. ;t. 


Bogo had a horse-litter like a woman?) for £5 6s. 8d. ; and de Regny sold him a black and an 
iron-grey palfrey, both for his own riding, at £3 13s. 44. and £5 6s. 8d. ; while Ralph of Oxford sold 
him another palfrey at £5 6s. 8d., which cost Bogo nothing, because the vicar of Saham paid for it 
(evidently instead of paying for Ralph's robe as he did in the winter). 

A black saddle, camoyseata (with a linen lining?), cost 13s. Ad. and two gilded saddles for Bogo's 
attendant knights cost 18s. and 18s. 4d. apiece, while the contemporary childish love of display in 
the wrong place caused a further £2 to be spent on the embroidery of these two. Perhaps the black 
saddle was for his chaplain, for Bogo himself had a crimson German saddle (sella rub' de Alaman'), 
which cost no more than the black one, though the " German " seat suggests something special in 
the way of a high back or other comfort. At the same time 14 other saddles with gilded plates 
(cum plateis deauratis) were purchased for Bogo and his friends at 13s. 4<2. apiece, and 28 embroidered 
cloths (pano'n broudat' ad ponend' sup diet sell'), which shew T s that the flowing horse trappings so 
often seen on seals were made in two pieces, for forehand and quarters. Seven pairs of girths at 
4s. 8d. seem cheap enough ; and so one would imagine that Bogo's harness room was well supplied. 
But next year he was buying just as many saddles again, and what seems curious is that he had 
them all adorned with the arms of Gaston de Beam. Thus, a gilt saddle for the lord's use, ad arma 
Gastonis de Berne, cost 15s., and 12 saddles, ad arma ejusdem, for his friends' use cost a mark apiece 
(£8 in all), while his own saddle cost another £1 for embroidery with Gaston's arms (pro boudura 
telle dni de armis p'dicti Gastonis). Two pack saddles (cella ad summar') cost 8s. and 6s. 8d., the 
latter being for use by the groom John Tygre (not a " tiger " on the back seat with his arms folded, 
as he elsewhere appears as John Tygrestill). 

The turbulent Gaston de Beam had been conquered by Simon de Montfort, again vanquished 
by Edward I., and after being brought to England by the Red earl and Roger de Clifford had made 
his submission in 1276, 1 when he was kept in some sort of honourable captivity for awhile and 
then sent back to France. A conqueror had the right to use his captive's arms if he chose, but why 
Bogo now used Gaston's coat armour to adorn his saddlery is not clear, unless Gaston was again in 
England either as a quasi captive entrusted to Bogo's care, or as an honoured guest, and this 
perhaps a complimentary expedition to escort him. 

From all these entries it would seem that Bogo rarely moved with a retinue of less than a 
dozen men ; while if his two knights were in attendance they would doubtless have at least one or 
two men apiece as well, so that on state occasions with knights and grooms and pages Bogo would 
muster probably a score or more all told. A list of servants (but evidently not a complete one) 
occurs in de Regny's account, 2 and shews how very small wages were in actual cash. Thus : — 

Reymond de Sulye, John Paynel and Robert de Kinten had 40s. apiece for the year. Thirteen 
grooms had 4s. and two pages 2s. apiece yearly, while one Henry de Flete, guardian of the parson 
of Flete (custod' de persona de Flete, an ominous entry), had 13s. 4d. 

Of Bogo's personal habits beyond his lavish dinner-table, glimpses are given by special 
expenses. Thus in 1285 £3 2s. 6\d. was spent on a silken and embroidered couch or bed (culcitra), 
for which full details are entered of the material and labour, down to Is. for hiring a room (domus) 
in which the work was done. A mattress made at the same time was doubled with red linen and 
embroidered with silk, costing in all £1 9s. 10 ^d., while two sleeved waistcoats (gardecorsetf) of red 
and green silk cost 14s. 6d. 3 As was usual in those days he bought his own material and had it 
made up, and one separate tailor's bill stitched on to the main account is transcribed here. 

1 Ann. Mon. Wint., II., 120. who has gardacorsium and gardecorsiuin as part of female 

2 91, 6, m. 3. attire, and wardecocium, wardecorsura, as a decent tight-fitting 

3 91, 3, m. 1. " Justaucorps, a sort of sleeved garment, overtunic which laymen were enjoined to wear when attend- 
fitting tight to the body and falling as low as the knees " ing synods. 

(Littre) seems to answer to gardcorset, which is not in Ducange, 













Factura robarum clomini per manus Hugonis de Oxom'a a festo Pasclie usque ad festum 

Sancti Michaelis 1284-5. 1 

Pro factura et cissura 1 rote de p[er]s cum tabard post pasclia 

„ ,, 8 garnimentorum de Pounat' contra Pentecostam . 

„ „ 3 garnimentorum de Wortested lineatorum cum camelotto 

de T'p't ...... 

„ „ 1 Tunice de caug' (?)..... 

„ ,, 2 garnimeutorum de quodam panno mixto . 

,, ,, 1 cooptorii de Yelvett' ..... 

One robe of pers 2 with a short tunic ; eight garments of pounce 3 (but probably these were for 
the summer robes of his dependents) ; three worsted garments lined with camelot of Tripontium ; 4 
one tunic of cog-ware; 5 two garments of a mixed cloth (mixed referring probably to the colour) ; 
nnd one velvet mantle. The worsted cost 18s. a "piece"; the mixed cloth 4s. Qd. an ell; the 
camelot de t'p't 17s. 2d. a "piece," and four ells of burnett were also bought for the squires' 
livery at 3s. 4d. an ell ; besides a hanging {tapeturn) with the royal arms for £1, and four others 
powdered with white lilies at 27s. 

About the same time, probably in readiness for a hasty journey such as that already related 
from Wales to the Isle of Axholme, de Eegny also bought sterner stuff for Bogo's personal use. 
The list begins with two " Sarg' scheker" (serge shakers ?) for the lord's bed £3 (? extra blankets to 
guard against cold in ill-found inns), and then follows what certainly reads like unaccustomed 
armour. Two pnirs of plates {pro 2 paribus platearum) £1 13?. Ad. ; and one other pair £2. These 
were probably genouilleres (knee-pieces) and ailettes, rectangular plates on the shoulders, while the 
two more expensive plates were perhaps a breast and back-plate; 6 a sword 6s. Id.; two artis 
lapid' Is. (? art-stones), which sounds more like charms, but were perhaps for the adornment of the 
cuffs of the gauntlets which are the next item — a pair of plate gloves {pro uno p'e cirotecar' de 
plateis fact') 3s. 6d. ;7 while a steel cap, made comfortable and inconspicuous by being inserted 
between two felt caps {pro 1 capello ferr' posito int' duos capellos fulcitr') 12s. 6d„, completed Bogo's 
war-gear. But he covered it all up as far as he could : at least so the next items seem to shew, 
which are transcribed verbatim. 

1 uln tele empf ad cubitand? in uno Braced' facto ad op^ d'ni p 1 man' 1 It. de Winton3d. In coton 
empf ad ciiWand? in p'dicfo UracaV \d. In laqucis sericis empf ad p 'diet BracaV 5d. P' fact a and 
ciss'a ei'd BracaV 8d. P' 6 duoden Bofon empf pro una cloca d'ni vidz de Cur all 3s. @ Gd. dnod. Pro 
una blue cindon ' empt ad lie/and ' pdictam clocam 6d. 

All which seems to mean that Bogo wore a light apron (lined with webbing [tele]), not unlike 
what hunting men wear nowadays in wet weather, to lie over his horse's withers, and this 
bracale 8 or "breech-piece" (bracalia in the plural, or braccce, being the usual word for breeches), 

1 91, 3, m. 2. 

- Bluish-grey or a darker blue. Perhaps derived from 
Persica, Persian, i.e., peach. — N.E.D. 

3 Pounse or pounson in Chaucer, i.e., ponchonne. Gar- 
ments punched with holes for ornament and (?) perhaps for 

4 ? Camelot of Towcester or Lilbourne (Northants) or 
Rugby or Kincton (Warwickshire) all called Tripontium ; 
or perhaps Trdport near Dieppe. I am indebted to 
Mr. Maiden for this suggestion. Cf. Martin's " Record 
Interpreter," 414. 

- 1 A coarse Kssex stuli' like frieze, perhaps for riding inj 

also called Kendal cloth. It was made of inferior wool, but 
probably kept the wet out well. 

6 These were early days yet for plate armour, but the 
price seems to suggest that they were all metal and not, as was 
often the case, of cuir-bouilli. 

7 Probably with a thumb, and all the fingers together. 

8 Bracale : lumbare, a braecis " ob ipsam infirmitatem in 
femore et testihus imposuit," hoc est fnsciam hernia eoer- 
cenda, " Bandage." So Ducange ; but the context seems to 
exclude this sense, which is better illustrated by William 
Prynne, who speaks of a writing found "in Bracali Leolini 
tjuoudaui Priucipis Wallite" in 1244. Ibid, 


was trimmed with cotton and laced with silk, or adorned with silken loops. Above and over 
everything he wore a long flowing cloak with no less than 72 coral buttons (mostly for show), tied 
round the waist with a blue linen girdle. Thus as he sat in the saddle his horse's withers and his 
own armoured knees were covered with the ornamental apron, while, above, the girdle kept the 
cloak in place, which below fell on either side displaying the coral buttons. 

The account of this remarkable get-up is immediately followed by the purchase of the black 
and red saddles and the two knights' saddles already noticed, so evidently Bogo thought his 
expedition was not without danger; and whether he owned the courage of his race or no, he did 
not mean to risk anything for want of defence. The cloak took the place of the knightly surcoat 
or "bliaus," which served at once to screen the mail from sun or rain and to display the coat 
armour of the wearer ; but as Bogo seems to have worn other people's arms at fancy, perhaps this 
cloak displayed no heraldry, while the concealed steel cap and coral buttons suggest that he did not 
wish to appear to be wearing armour. Nor among all his long accounts do any other weapons or 
armour seem to occur at all. 

Indeed, his expenses ran on other lines, with huge grocer's bills from Thomas le Romayn, the 
"Italian warehouseman" and seller of species (epicier). These included 4|- cwts. of almonds 
(at £1 the cwt.), or 48 lbs. of " gingerbrad " at 2s. per lb. bought at a time ; and pomegranates at 
3d. and 6d. apiece (Bogo was always fond of fruit) ; or gold rings and silver-gilt cups for friends or 
those who had done him service ; or costly furs and dress materials and linen, with now and then 
2d. or 3d. in alms to the lepers or the poor, and once 2d. to " a woman from the country of William 
de Melkesham." 

In London on one occasion two rings were bought and given to Margerye la Rause and her 
daughter at the small price of 3s. 6d., and Domina Margery also received 3s. lOd. for her expenses. 
She was no doubt the " Margery la Rouse," wife of Bogo's dependent John Paynel, on whom and 
her son Thomas 1 a resettlement of the manor of Walsall (Staffs) was made in 1291 at Bogo's 
request. 1 But with this exception and the female shampooer, who appears almost weekly at Is. 
a time (in lotrici pro locione capitis domini), it is noticeable that no other women appear in the 
accounts. None ever dined at his table — no doubt it was not the custom ; but it seems curious 
that no casual mention of any women (other than those noticed) should occur throughout all the 
rolls. It is amusing to record that when de Regny's head was washed at Bogo's expense it only 
cost Id.,* and no doubt the rich man was properly fleeced. Bogo wore a beard, for it cost Is. to 
trim, and that time he paid 2s. for his shampoo. 3 

Bogo was probably a generous master, and his vails and payments to friends' servants and for 
letters carried always seem adequate ; while when his servant John de Worteley died in London he 
had the body watched for six nights, the great bell of St. Paul's tolled, and twelve clerks to say the 
psalter day and night, and gave candles to five different churches. Corn was fetched specially 
from Dorking, no doubt for the meal after the funeral, and (what must have been rare then) 
apparently the body was buried in a coffin. Altogether Bogo spent £3 3s. 4d. on the funeral, 
including an oblation of 17s. 4d. the day John died.* 

No doubt Bogo observed religious usages, as was general in his day. He seems always to 
have " fasted " on Wednesdays and Fridays, when every sort of fish obtainable graced his 
hospitable board, for the fasting excluded neither guests nor wine. Probably he heard, perhaps 
said mass daily in his chapel, for since he was a papal chaplain and was rector of Settrington 
from 1283 till his death, on the express condition of taking priestly orders within a year 

1 P. E., Jan. 10, 1291 (415). < Journ. Brit. Arch. Assoc, XVIII. (1862), 12 and 74. 

2 91, 1, m. 2 dors. Mr. Hartshorne gives a full account and transcription. The 

3 In barbe loncione domini Is. In lotrici per idem tern- reference is 91, 1. 
pus 2s. 91, 1, m. 3 dors. 


of institution, it seems almost impossible that he was not a priest — if anything was then 
impossible. 1 

On one occasion he gave 3s. to four clerks who helped in his own chapel on Whitsunday, where 
the words coadjuvantibus in capella domini seem to suggest that he himself was celebrating. 

One wonders whether Bogo could Avrite. Probably he could, though he never signs de Begny's 
accounts, perhaps because it was not then usual for employers to do so, as it was in Tudor days. 
But he constantly sent letters about the country on his nefarious business, and frequently gave 
Perrott, the king's waferer — a very important person who sealed deeds — a handsome tip of 5s. or 
half a mark. But no books are ever mentioned though parchment was bought now and again to 
keep the accounts on, and it may be assumed that Bogo wasted no time in reading. Once on a dull 
evening he had 3s. from de Regny to play dice with Robert de Hasting (his own retainer) and one 
Robert de Bibceuf, but that is the only notice of a game, while there seems not the slightest indica- 
tion that he cared twopence about sport in any form. 2 Indeed intense acquisitiveness at the 
expense of the church of which he might have been a pillar, coupled with great love of feasting and 
display for his friends' sake if not for his own, are the two chief deductions suggested by his 
papers, and it is perhaps significant of the soft unwholesome life he led that he died suddenly at 
the age of 46. 

Bogo's rapacity seems to have been only equalled by his high-handedness, which on two 
different occasions brought him into grave trouble with the king and the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury. In 1290 he and the Prior of Holy Trinity in London dared to serve a summons from the 
Archbishop on Edmund of Cornwall within the royal palace of Westminster. Cornwall was 
actually on his way to Parliament; but of course it was the offence against the liberties of the royal 
palace, not against the privilege of " the House," which so deeply moved the wrath of Edward, who 
declared his palace to be free from all jurisdiction of Rome or any service of summons whatsoever. 
Bogo and the Prior were both forthwith committed to the Tower and a fine of 2000 marks inflicted 
on Bogo, whose only defence was " ignorance of the privilege," which sounds a very weak excuse. 3 
Gilbert stood surety for his brother, and next January (1291) the fine, or at least part of it, was 
remitted "in consideration of Queen Eleanor's affection for Bogo." 4 The queen had died at the 
end of November, and it was found that 200 marks of the fine was due to her estate, the tithe 
having been perhaps allotted as her share of the "lese majeste." To have stood well with that 
gracious lady was ever a passport to the goodwill not only of her devoted husband but of her son 
too, who, though he was but six years old when his mother died, never ceased to revere her memory 
and cherish the religious houses she had loved and the people she had cared for. 5 Her friendship 
may at least be put down to Bogo's credit, and probably he was socially an agreeable man and a 
good courtier, with considerable experience of his own world and a fund of good humour and 
pleasant speech. 

Bogo seems to have intended a long absence abroad after this episode, for in June 1291 he had 
"protection" for three years going beyond the seas, 6 but he was back before the end of 1292, 
having evidently changed caelum only, not animum, as a similar and aggravated episode shews. 

This time it was he himself on whom " letters of citation " from the Archbishop of Canterbury 

1 Abp. Wickvvane's Reg., Surtees Soc, CXIV., 114-15, venison for supper on the road when it could be got for him ; 
Feb. 19, 1283. " Ha quod a tempore insiitutionis hujusmodi but in 1272 he was only 24, so perhaps had not yet given up 
infra annum ad gradum sacerdocii te facias ordinari, ne in hunting. 

penamultimi Litfidunensis conciliiincidas nonpromotus." The :i Journ. Brit. Arch. Astoc, XX. (18C4), 270, which 

severity of tone adopted by Bogo's ecclesiastical suporiors in however speaks of a £10,000 fine, 
their letters suggests how much they disapproved of him. * 0. R-, Jan. 13, 1291 (158). 

2 A pardon granted to Bogo and his servants in 1272 6 For Edward II. 's devotion to his mother's memory see 
(I'. It., 654) for all forest trespasses, forfeitures and excesses Eng. Hist. Review, XXXV., 598. 

done in English forests to date, may only mean that he had 6 P. R., June 25, 1?91 (435). 


were to be served. But the unfortunate bearer, one John le Waleys, was compelled to swallow the 
letters, seals and all. The case was tried in the Hilary term ensuing (January 1293), when however 
Bogo — whom perhaps not even his rank would have saved had so sacrilegious a demeanour to his 
metropolitan been proved — got off, because it could not be shewn that he had given the order. 
Apparently there was no doubt his servants had compelled the Welshman to make the unpleasant 
meal, but the culprits had escaped overseas, and Bogo himself was acquitted of the deed and all 
suspicion of it. 1 

Once more Bogo appears in the papal registers at the end of 1289, when the legate was to 
" warn and induce " him and John de Colewich to give up the vicarage of Colwich (Staffs) in Lich- 
field diocese, to which John had wrongfully presented him when the Pope had otherwise disposed 
of it. 2 Even the Pope could have made no worse a presentation, but perhaps even the Pope was 
tired of Bogo and his endless greed. 

Archbishop Peckham was making some searching enquiries about Bogo from his brother of 
York early in 1291, when le Bomayn replied with a long list of Bogo's preferments in his diocese, 
but said that of his morals he could say nothing with certainty, for Bogo resided in none of them, 
having, " as his people said," special privilege of non-residence, but as soon as leisure would allow 
he proposed asking to see Bogo's authority for this. 3 

These seem to be the last notices found of Bogo. The Bochester Eegister records his death 
on October 26th, 1294, in connection with the disputed presentation of Eobert de Eetford to 
Eotherfield by the Eed earl, already alluded to; 4 and only two days later the king granted the 
" deanery of his free chapel of Stafford, void by the death of Bogo de Clare," to Master John de 
Cadamo, king's clerk. 5 The cause of his death is not known, but he died suddenly. " Eich in 
benefices but poor in character, his death was sudden because his good deeds were not apparent," 
says the Dunstable monk who thus records his death in 1295, after having already correctly recorded 
it under 1294. In the 1294 notice the expression used, subita nece obiit, suggests a violent death, 6 
but no hint of violence occurs elsewhere. Possibly Bogo died of a surfeit. The Worcester monk, 
who says death snatched him suddenly, piously declining to pass judgment, exclaims, "God knows 
if his life were worthy of praise, for none held it to be deserving of imitation," 7 and yet another 
chronicler roundly calls him "the oppressor rather than the rector of many churches." 8 

The writer of the Lanercost chronicle brings up the old play on the family name to judge 
" Bovo de Clare," who died he savs "celebi-ated for his name but not for his character, making an 
end not clear of blame or worthy, since he had held and misgoverned countless churches." 9 And 
the writer goes on to relate how he himself had seen above the high altar in Bogo's church of 
Simonburn (in Northumberland) at Easter, a panel made of plaited withies smeared with fresh 
cowdung, though the living was worth 70 marks. He then heightens the contrast with an instance 
of Bogo's wanton wastefulness in sending as a present to the queen of France a toy lady's carriage 
(quadrigam matronalem) made of ivory with silver wheels and silver and gold fittings, all most 
exquisitely finished, " at a cost, it is said, of £3, and in scandal of a million." 

As for the panel (tabuli) set up over the high altar at Easter, it must be remembered that 
cowdung was (and still is, if the material is ever now made use of) a regular constituent of the 
plaster known as wattle and daub used for ceilings, etc. So that the horrible suggestion must 

1 Abbrev. Placit., 288. Journ. Arch. Assoc, XX., 272. " Ann. Mon. Wig., IV., 517. 

" Pap. Reg., Nov. 2S), 1289 (509-10). 8 Multarum Rector ecclesiarum vel potivs incubator. 

3 Reg. of J. le Romayn, Surtees Soc, 1913, Part I., Flor. Hist., III., 93. 

396-7. 9 Recessit a saeculo solemnis nomine seel non conversatione 

4 Registr. Roff., 595-6. Bovo do C, non satis ut dicitur claro fine et men to quippe qui 

5 P. R., Oct. 28, 1291 (106). Cadamus is Caen. innumeras occupaverat ecclesias et male gubernaverat. Chron. 

6 Ann. Mon. D., III., 400 and 389. Perhaps in Low Latin de Lanercost, 158. See also Sir H. Maxwell's translation 
nex had lost its classical connotation; Ducange omits it. (1913), pp. 109-110. 

K 2 


probably be scaled down to mean that Bogo so neglected his church that all the poor parishioners 
could do to tidy up the chancel (which was really the rector's sole charge) was to patch the broken 
walls for their Easter celebration with wattle and daub. As for the toy chariot it seems rather 
good that at least Bogo should have spent some of his ill-gotten and squandered coin on delicate 
craftsmanship, while the sum of £3 for a present to royalty from a man of Bogo's means would 
hardly have seemed to many of his contemporaries so flagrant an instance of extravagance as it did 
to the canny north countryman. But with every allowance for exaggeration the fact remains that 
among all the writers who refer to him the condemnation of Bogo was general, while from all that 
has been told of his life it was clearly just. 

As for his church preferments, a list of prelates and clergy who had protection in 1294 after 
paying Edward's huge levy of one half of the revenues of their benefices for that year, records 
Bogo, under different headings, as a Canon of Holy Trinity, Chichester, and of St. Peter's, York ; 
parson (i.e., rector) of Pickhill (70 marks), Settrington (£100), Hemingburgh (250 marks), Acaster 
(40 marks) and half Doncaster (4 marks) in Yorkshire ; Fordingbridge (Hants), Polsted (Suffolk), 
Saham and half of Walpole (Norfolk), Dunmow (Essex) and Leverington (Cambs). 1 Further, from 
Archbishop le Romayn's register in February 1291 it appears that Bogo's office as treasurer of York 
carried with it the prebends of Wilton in Newthorpe (600 marks), while he then also held the 
prebend of Masham (300 marks) and Simonburn in Northumberland (500 marks), besides the other 
Yorkshire livings just named with values attached (taken from this York list). 2 To these must be 
added the sinecure rectory of Eynesford (Kent), where Bogo presented a vicar in 1286, 3 and also the 
rectory of Hailsham (Sussex), besides probably the rectory of Kilkhampton in Cornwall and a 
prebend of Exeter. Hailsham seems to have been an instance of Bogo's fishing in troubled waters, 
for the advowson had for years been in dispute between the abbot of Bayham and the actual rector, 
Robert de Blatchington, who apparently granted the reversion of it to Bogo. Robert, who had 
certainly once been forcibly ejected by the abbot, died only a year or two before Bogo, when Bogo 
in his turn held the rectory — very probably by main force — till his death, after which the abbot in 
1296 obtained a decision by the archbishop in his favour and vicars only were appointed. To all 
this catalogue must be added the rectory of Rotherfield and the deanery of Stafford, both which, as 
has been seen, Bogo was holding when he died. 

Bogo left a will, which was apparently disputed, for though it does not seem to be extant, 
Archbishop Winchelsey was writing to the bishops of his province soon after Bogo's death on behalf 
of Perceval de Ast, the executor, and Thomas, rector of Eastwick, who had been appointed adminis- 
trator, because malicious persons were detaining part of the personalty and certain debtors were 
impeding execution. 5 

So even after death Bogo was a cause of trouble, while an echo of his ill-deeds is found in the 
inquest held after the last earl Grilbert's death in 1315, when 36 acres near Tregrug were being 
claimed by former holders, who alleged the land to have been in the earl's hand " by the extortion 
of Bogo." G 

In fact as a pluralist Bogo was notorious even in those days of unblushing pluralism, while as 
a contemner of all obligations and a plunderer of the church or of smaller men than himself, he was 
a scandal to a generation well used to aristocratic and alien sinecures, to neglected duties and to 
rapacity of every kind. 

1 P. R., Sept. 28, 1294, 117-18, and 93, 95. At this date vicarage, but Ecton's Thesaurus shews that a " Rector of the 

Master William de Nottingham was parson of Exworth (ibid., sinecure " then still held a reserved rent of £20 in 1754. 
120). 4 Hist, of Hailsham, A. F. Salzmaiin, 99-100, 123. 

• Reg. of J. le Romayn, Surtees Soc, Part I., 396-7. 6 Reg. Winchelsey, 36-7 (f. 171). 

The vali es seem to be capital, not annual. r ' Journ. Brit. Arch. Assoc:., XVIII. (18G2), 372-3. 

1 Abp. Peckham Reg., p. 53 (f. 31 b). Eynesford is a 


VII. — Thomas de Clare and his family history. The Red earl's last years. Joan of Acre 

and Monthermer. 

The Red earl lived less than six years to enjoy his exalted position so close to the throne, but 
before their tale is told some account must be given of another and a worthier brother than 
Bogo was, who left descendants to carry on the noble blood, though not the name of de Clare, and 
even mingle it once more with that of the royal family of England. 

Thomas de Clare has already appeared as an adherent of de Montfort, who before Evesham 
returned with the Red earl to the king's side, when he found the horse for Edward's escape by the 
famous stratagem of the race, and in 1268 took the cross and went the crusade with him. 

In the south of England he probably had not many interests, but he was made constable of 
St. Briavel's castle (Clones.) in 1265, 1 an office which carried with it the wardenship of the forest 
of Dean, 2 and he held this until 1272. 3 He also received from Richard de Montfichet a grant of 
the hereditary stewardship of Essex forest, held by service of Id. yearly to the exchequer, a grant 
which Henry III. confirmed on May 14th, 1267. 4 This Montfichet, the most distinguished of his 
name, had been one of the 25 sureties for the Creat Charter, among whom he was at this date 
probably the sole survivor — a childless man of nearly 80 (he died in 1268), who desired perhaps to 
perpetuate the forest stewardship in a kinsman's family. He was the son of a Richard and the 
grandson of a Gilbert, which Gilbert was son of William de Montfichet and Margaret de Clare, 
daughter of Gilbert fitz-Richard de Tonbridge. Doubtless this de Clare marriage brought the 
names of Gilbert and Richard into the Montfichet family, while the close friendship of the two 
families in early days, as evidenced by their closely similar arms, has already been noted. 5 But 
while Thomas de Clare, already of full age in 1267, was of the 8th generation, reckoning Richard 
de Tonbridge as the first, de Montfichet was only of the 6th, being Thomas's third cousin twice 
removed — so quickly did the de Clare generations succeed each other. 6 

The chief possessions and interests of Thomas de Clare were in Ireland, where he not only 
married the heiress of Maurice Fitzmaurice, but also received a grant of Thomond in 1276, so that 
his holdings there were very large. Indeed, although the great national record of distinguished 
lives has ignored Thomas de Clare, it seems probable that county, town, and river Clare take their 
name from Thomas, and not, as has been generally supposed, from his more famous kinsman 
Strongbow (d. 1176) J 

However that may be, Thomas de Clare and his second wife Juliana were in England together 
for the last time in 1284, 8 and Thomas died in Ireland at the end of January 1288, 9 leaving two 
sons, Gilbert and Richard, and two daughters Maud and Margaret. His widow Juliana stayed on 
in Ireland, and in December 1291 had royal leave to marry whom she would of the king's allegiance 
" in order the better to rule herself and her estates." 10 As a great heiress this was a very large 

1 P. R., April 24, 1265 (419). 3 See above, p. 46. 

2 Trans. Bristol and Glouc. Arch. Soc, III. (1878-9), 338. 6 Cf. the Fitzwalters, p. 52. 

3 William de Beauchamp succeeded to the post in January 7 Dr. Round in his general account of the de Clare family 
1272, and Thomas certainly cannot have acled till then. In (D.N.B., X., 376) says Strongbow, but in his more recent 
the nine years of John Giffard'sand Thomas de Clare's office, arlicle in Enc. Brit, VI., 424 b, he holds it doubtful. Mr. 
1263 — 72, the damage done to the forest was computed at Parkinson, Antiqu., V., 60, also says Strongbow. 

£2,368 lis. Bristol and Glouc. Arch. Soc, XXXIII., 177— 8 P. B., May 5, 1284 (120). 

189. 9 Ann. Mon. O., IV., 314. 

4 Orig. deed penes Lord Mornington. See " The Forest 10 P. R., Dec. 11, 1291 (463). 
of Essex," W. R. Fisher (1887), 116; Ch. R., under date, 75. 


concession, and perhaps shews how independent Irish chiefs still were; but it was also a quid pro 
quo, for though the widow was thus set free to dispose of her jointure, the wardship of Thomas's 
elder son Gilbert was given next year to his uncle the Eed earl, the grant including young Gilbert's 
marriage and also the custody of his heirs until one of them married, shovdd Gilbert die a minor. 1 
On the Red earl's death Gilbert became ward of his aunt Joan, to whom also the custody (during 
minority) of his Irish lands was granted in the summer of 1300. 3 

Nevertheless Gilbert had already done homage the year before that, though only seventeen, 
and the escheators in Ireland and this side Trent had orders to grant him seisin of the lands his 
father held at his death, and of the stewardship of the forest of Essex in September 1299. 3 Further, 
in September 1300 he had a grant of his mother's dower-lands in Ireland after her death, saving 
such as she held in chief of her own inheritance, 4 so that Joan's wardship must have been 

Evidently soon after he was sixteen he had hastened to do homage, and, like a true de Clare, 
proffered his services in the field. Thus he went on the king's expedition to Scotland at 
midsummer of 1300, and was very likely present at the siege of Caerlaverock, which was sur- 
rendered by its valiant band of sixty defenders on or about July 10th, when Edward was so 
impressed by the feat of arms that he granted them not only life and limb, but bounty as 
well. Gilbert's name naturally does not appear in the account of the siege, as he and two 
nameless companions served as simple squires (scutiferi). They received 3s. a daj r , 21c?. for wages 
and 15i. for horse-keep, serving altogether for 91 days till Michaelmas, their horses being valued 
in the usual way to the king, who was liable to replace them. 5 No doubt Gilbert shewed the 
traditional courage of his race, and earned the grant of his lands noticed above ; moreover 
Edward, most careful parent of an idle extravagant son, chose him as a companion for the young 
Edward, granting "protection for two years in Ireland to Gilbert, son of Thomas de Clare" (i.e., to 
his lands and bailiffs in Ireland), " staying in England with the king's son," 6 who was the same age 
as himself. Gilbert came of age early in 1303, settling accounts with the king that January, and 
having seisin of his father's demesne lands in March, 7 and no doubt he served the Scots campaign 
of 1303 — 5 with the extravagant young Prince of Wales, who travelled about attended by a lion 
and Genoese fiddlers, and squandered large sums diceing and playing the fool with Piers Gaveston. 
The prince was in dire disgrace for poaching in the treasurer's (Bishop Langton's) woods in the 
summer of 1305, when Gilbert was probably concerned in the escapade, for he had his lands and 
-hereditary stewardship of Essex forest taken from him for alleged trespasses about that date. 8 In 
August Edward was begging to be allowed to have Gilbert de Clare and "Perot de Gaveston" as 
companions to solace his harsh exile, y and the return of the stewardship to Gilbert at Michaelmas 
marked the forgiveness both of Gilbert and the prince, who was representing his father at a great 
London banquet in October. 10 

In March 1307 Gilbert, then aged 25, was summoned to London in order to go to France with 
the Prince of Wales about his marriage treaty; u but it' he went, he was soon back, for he attended 
his cousin and namesake earl Gilbert on his first campaign that summer, having special respite of 
all debts due to the exchequer for one year in order to accompany "the king's grandson." 12 

1 P. R., July 12, 1292 (501). 6 P. P., Sept. 22, 1300 (535). 

: P. E., July 21, 1300 (81), repeated Aug. 3 (82). " C. R., Jan. G and March 6, 1303 (3, IV). 

3 C. P., Sept. 18, 1299 (272). s They were restored to him in 1305. C. R., Sept. 28, 

* C. R., Sept. 14, 1300 (366). 1303 (289). 

6 Edward I.'s "Wardrobo account, 1299—1300. Soc. ' 9th Report of Dep. -Keeper of Records, p. 248. 

Antiqu, 1787, p. 217. Thus Peter de G a vest on was paid 10 Ann. Loud., p. 143. 

.£20 L3». id. for a bay (badius, bagUB, Ducange) horse with a " C. R., March 22, 1307 (530-1). 

white star and one white forefoot which died that August. 12 C. R. at Carlislo, June 22, 1307 (537). Edw;ird L 

Ibid., p. 179. died July 7. 


Whether he fell in battle is not known, but he was dead before January 18th, 1308, when the 
king-, having- his lands in hand, presented Master Richard de Clare to the living of Youghal. 1 Two 
months later Gilbert's younger brother and heir, another Richard de Clare, was having respite of 
debts due from his late brother's estate pending enquiry. 2 So Gilbert died before he was 26, and 
though he had married a wife Isabella 3 (family unknown), he left no children. 

Richard, who thus succeeded to the hereditary stewardship of Essex forest and to all the large 
estates in Ireland, had hitherto as a younger son been provided for (like his uncle Bogo) out of 
church preferment. He held two livings in Ireland as well as Maltby in Yorkshire, and early 
in 1306, when about 20 years old, received papal dispensation, at the request of his aunt Margaret 
countess of Cornwall, to 

"retain these benefices and accept others to the value of £200, with license to postpone being ordained 
priest for seven years, he being engaged in his studies." 4 

It may well be doubted whether his studies were ever aimed at a priestly life, and after succeeding 
to his brother he appears no more as a candidate for livings, as does his namesake, always described 
as " Master Richard," who long survived him. Young Richard no doubt took up bis knighthood 
on inheriting, if he had not already done so; and with his young chief, the last earl, he appeared 
at the Dunstable tournament in 1308 bearing the de Clare coat differenced with a label azure of 
three points. 5 jSTo doubt he displayed the usual de Clare courage and efficiency in the field, and in 
May 1316 he was pardoned a debt of 1,000 marks due to the exchequer and given the custody of the 
late earl's Irish castles in acknowledgment of his good services in the repulse of the Scots from 
Ireland. 6 It was no doubt in Ireland that most of his time was spent both in the king's service 
and on his own business,? and it was in Ireland that he met his death at the hands of "certain Irish 
rebels " in or before June 1318. R He had married a wife Joan (family not known) by whom he had 
an only child Thomas, who was a minor at his father's death, when the king granted the stewardship 
of Essex forest to Aymer de Valence. 9 But two years later, although Thomas was still quite a boy, 
seisin of all his Irish castles was granted to him under the guardianship of his cousin Maurice son 
of Thomas and Maurice de Rupeforti (Rochford) his kinsman, on condition that the issues were 
expended on repair and defence, 10 which was probably a cheap way out of dilapidations for the king. 
A great expedition to avenge Richard de Clare's death was being contemplated in 1319 under the 
management of Roger de Mortimer, justiciary of Ireland, and Thomas, son of John earl of Kildare, 11 
so probably Thomas had an early chance of campaigning — perhaps too soon, for he was dead before 
April 20th, 1322, when he cannot have been more than 16, if so much. 12 

So in two generations the male line of Thomas de Clare the Crusader died out, and his estates 
reverted to his two daughters already named, Maud or Matilda, and Margaret, aunts of the short- 
lived Thomas fitzRichard, between whom they were divided. 

Maud had married Bobert de Clifford and had a son also Robert, and being left a widow had 
married Sir Robert de Well or Welles in Ireland. 13 

Margaret married Bartholomew de Badlesmere, lord of Leeds castle in Kent, where Margaret 
rudely refused hospitality to Queen Isabella in 1321 ; for which offence Leeds castle was stormed 

1 P. R., Jan. 18, 1308 (48). 5 Some Feudal coats of arms. J. Foster, 47. 

- C. R., March 20, 1308 (25). 6 P. R., May 16, 1316 (459). 

3 She was still living April 20, 1322. C. P. (439). "> C. R., 1315 (221) ; 1317 (642). 

4 Bunratty (co. Clare) and Youghal. Pap. Reg., 8 C. R., June 7, 1319 (80). 
March 30, 1306 (12). Margaret de Clare (1249—1316), the 9 P. R., June 28, 1318 (166). 
Red earl's sister, married Edmund earl of Cornwall (1250— 10 P. R., Nov. 26, 1320 (523). 
1300), son of Richard, king of Germany, and his second wife u C. R., June 7, 1319 (80). 
Sanchia of Provence. They had no children and the earldom 12 C. R., April 20, 1322 (439-40). 

was revived for Piers Gaveston and another Margaret de Clare 13 On Nov. 3, 1295. Ann. Mon. W., IV., 523 ; and C. R., 

in 1307. as last note. 


and thirteen of the garrison hanged, while Bartholomew himself paid with his head next year, after 
being taken at the hattle of Boroughbridge. The Badlesmeres had one son Giles who died without 
issue in 1338, when the four daughters divided the great inheritance. Of these, Margery the eldest 
married lord Eoos of Hamlake ; Maud was wife of John de Vere, seventh earl of Oxford, to whom 
she brought the stewardship of Essex forest ; Margaret of John, lord Tiptoft ; while Elizabeth, the 
third daughter, was twice married. To her first husband Edmund Mortimer (d. 1331) she bore 
Roger, who was restored as earl of March in 1355, and whose son Edmund Mortimer third earl of 
March married Philippa Plantagenet, Lady of Clare and countess of Ulster, and thus became 
grandfather to Richard duke of York, father of Edward IV. 1 To her second husband 
William de Bohun earl of Northampton (d. 1360) she bore Humphrey de Bohun earl of Hereford, 
Essex and Northampton, whose only child Eleanor married Edward III.'s son Thomas of Woodstock 
and was mother of Anne, who married Edmund fifth earl of Stafford, lord of Blechingley and 
father of the first duke of Buckingham. And so while the crusader Thomas de Clare's name 
died out in two short-lived generations, through his daughter and the Badlesmeres there came 
a second strain of de Clare blood alike to the throne of England and to the Stafford lords of 
Blechingley. 2 

Here it may be noted that any chance which Thomas's sons, Gilbert or Richard, might have 
had of inheriting the earldom in 1314 was barred by the resettlement of 1290, which gave the 
whole of the lands and castles with all regalities, knights' fees, advowsons and other appurtenances, 
just as the earl held them on the day he surrendered them to the king, to Gilbert and Joan and the 
heirs of their bodies, with remainder, failing them, to Joan as her inheritance. So that had the 
last earl Gilbert been an only child the great de Clare estates would have passed to Joan's 
Monthermer children rather than to any cadet branch of the de Clares. 

Returning now to the Red earl, in the autumn of 1291, with other Irish notables, he made 
a gift to the king of one fifteenth of the moveables of his men and tenants in Ireland, which gift, 
however, was not to form a precedent. 3 No doubt he then once more composed matters with his 
royal father-in-law, for he had the grant of his nephew Gilbert's wardship next year, as already 
noticed. In the summer of 1292 he was in Scotland 4 and witnessed a treaty for mutual defence, 
and for the abortive division of the kingdom of Scotland between Florence count of Holland and 
Robert Bruce. 4 In January 1293 he appears in the household books of the "Lord Edward the 
king's son " as having been entertained to dinner on a Tuesday with the Lady Countess, with 
a retinue of 200 knights, ladies and maids of honour, and having left the Thursday following, 
when the "lady countess with her maids of honour and esquires took breakfast," 5 which gives an 
idea of the state kept by the king's son-in-law on a dine-and-sleep visit. That autumn he and Joan 
were in Ireland for several months, in which time he entirely defeated and punished the local 
magnates who had attacked and wasted his lands. 6 With Gilbert and Joan went Gaudin de Clare, 7 
who sounds like a relative, but of whom nothing else is known save that in 1300 one John de 
Grey mouth recovered seisin against him in court at Aylesbury of a house and 2i acres of land 
at Easington in Chilton, Bucks. 8 

Joan bore the earl three daughters in rapid succession after the son and heir, but it seems as if 
these last years of his life were not the least stormy of his restless existence. The chronic state of 
lawlessness and rapine in the west had been greatly aggravated by Gilbert's quarrels with de Bohun ; 

1 Shakespeare makes Richard of York trace his pedigree 5 Issues of the Exchequer, F. Devon, 21 Edw. I. 

from " Philippe— who married Edmund Mortimer " in 6 Cart. St. Mary's, Dublin ; R. S., II., 322-3 ; and Ann. 

Henry VI., Part II., II., ii. Mon. O., IV., 336. 

2 This additional strain of de Clare blood is marked in the 7 P. R., June 28, 1293 (28). An uncommon name, but 
pedigree by the letters A. and B. Gaudin is a surname also, Simon Gaudin appearing in Ship- 

3 P. It., Sept. 20, 1291 (446-7). lake (Oxon.) in 1285. Anc. Deeds, I., c. 977. 
* Doc. rel. to Hist, of Scotland, I., 318. 8 Origiualia Roll*, 29 Edw. I. (118). 


the destitution and misery of the people on the Marches and in Wales was extreme, while the 
strong- intervention of king Edward had weakened the power of de Clare, lessened Lis vassals' fear 
of him, and encouraged his enemies. So it is not surprising to find that in 1294 the Welsh rose 
against him and Joan in such force that they had to fly for their lives, Rees ap Morgan taking 
Morlaix and other de Clare castles. Gilbert returned later and took vengeance with much slaughter, 
not sparing even priests and monies — the number of dead, says the Dunstable chronicler, only God 
knew. But be failed to subdue the rebels, and this seems to have been almost the end of the great 
lordship of the de Clares in Glamorgan and the Marches. 1 

In the spring of 1294 Edward was moving about in the south of England, coming from 
Canterbury on April 26th by Ospringe on the 29th, to Newenden on May 1st, to Wrotham May 5 — 
8tb, and Otford on May 11th. On May 13th he was at Blechingley 3 apparently for one night, but 
whether Gilbert was there to receive him is more than doubtful. He passed on to Betchworth next 
day, May 14th, and so into Sussex, but was back at Westminster on June 2nd. Parliament was 
summoned there in November, but before the year was out Edward had marched to Wales. That 
winter he subdued the north, and moving south to Llanfaes in April 1295 received the submission 
of Gilbert's revolted tenants close to Brecknock, on the scene of the earl's contumacious warfare 
with de Bohun; and that moreover, as the chronicler avers, against Gilbert's expressed wish, while 
he further took over the reins by appointing his own warden, one Sir Walter Hakelute. 3 Later, 
when Gilbert tried to raise an expedition to assert his suzerainty, the chief tenants declined to 
follow him, declaring themselves king's men, and with only small tenants to help him the expedition 
failed. 4 Edward was not the man to leave hold where he had once fastened, and de Clare's power 
was broken, though his Welsh lands were restored to him and Joan in the autumn. 5 But before 
that a peremptory order issued to him to restore the temporalities of Llandaff to the see, 
and to 

" conduct himself in such manner herein that it may not be necessary for the king to apply his hand to 
this in another manner." 6 

The day of the Marcher lords was passing. The king of England was king of Wales too, and it 
was but a few years later that Edward proclaimed his eldest son prince of Wales at Carnarvon 

Whether the humiliation of his Welsh losses hastened the end of the proud earl, who at 
Caerphilly had covered thirty acres with the splendid panoply of his hewn-stone fortress, or 
whether, worn out by the toils of incessant warfare and the miserable conditions of life even for 
the wealthiest in that age, he succumbed to illness, is not known; but on December 7th, 1295, he 
died somewhere on the Welsh Marches, perhaps at Monmouth, at the age of 52, 7 and was buried by 
Bishop Godfrey among his ancestors at Tewkesbury on December 22nd. 8 He left the countess 
Joan with her one son Gilbert, then aged 4>\, and three daughters still younger, Eleanor, Margaret 
and Elizabeth, among whom the earldom of the de Clares was to be extinguished. 

No will is extant nor any record of pious uses ordained by the young widow in his memory, 
but one humble dependent reverenced the Red earl's memory. This was a clerk, Walter de 
Hendon by name, who, dying in 1298, left property at Godorn Lane in the city to maintain 

1 Ann. Mon. D., III., 1294, 387, and Cott., 253. 6 C. E., Aug. 24, 1295 (453). 

- C. R., May 13, 1294 (347). Two letters to the sheriff "> Chron. de Lanercost, 168, says "about the feast of 

of York and the Escheator this side Trent are dated from St. Lucy " (Dec. 13). In Maxwell's translation, p. 126. 
Blechingley. 3 Ann Mon. Wig., IV., 526. 8 Godfrey Giffard, Bishop of Worcester 1268—1302, who 

4 Ann. Mon. D., III., 387. had quarrelled with Gilbert over the great Malvern fosse. 

P. R., Oet. 20, 1295 (154). Hakelute had had custody Ann Mon. Wig., IV., 524 (see above, p. 102). 

of them. 



chantries at St. John Zachary and St. Andrew de Holborn for the good of the souls of Sir Gilbert 
de Clare, late earl of Gloucester, Sir Elias de Fordhani, himself, and all the faithful departed. 1 
The will was disputed by Sir Roger de Rus, knight, who claimed that Walter was his villain, and 
therefore could not devise estate, and further that the bequest was void under the statute of 
mortmain. He failed, however, to make his contention good, and administration was granted to 
the executor. Both chantries were duly instituted, for in 1318 Stephen Pancrych, skinner, left 
houses and rents in the parishes of St. Sepulchre's without Newgate and St. Andrew's, Holborn, 
which were charged with the maintenance of that at St. Andrew's, 2 and in 1369 one John 
Chichester owned Walter de Hendon's house in Godorn Lane, St. John Zachary, from which was 
still due 13s. 4d. yearly for the chantry in that parish. 3 

Another chantry was founded in Wiltshire for the souls of Edward 1., Gilbert and Joan de 
Clare, John and Mariota Ingham, Oliver de Ingham, Robert le Bor, the grantor and all the 
faithful departed in 1323 or 1324. The founder was Robert de Burbach, who had license to 
alienate in mortmain £5 rent in East Grinsted to pay his chantry chaplain/ Burbage in Wilts 
was a de Clare manor a few miles from Marlborough and the river Kemiet, along which the Red 
earl used to sport. East Grinstead, now a perpetual curacy, was a ehapelry under St. Mary's of 
West Dean, where Robert founded his chantry. St. Mary's was pulled down in 1868, when a new 
church was built, but the south aisle was spared, and is still used as a mortuary chapel. It is the 
chantry chapel built by Robert de Burbage, and the little building still preserves his 14th century 
windows, those on the north side having been originally built within the south arcades of the old 
nave. De Burbach presented a chaplain in 1333 ; thereafter the bishop of Salisbury did so, and 
institutions are in the episcopal registers from 1333 to 141 7. 5 So, despite his turbulent and 
restless life, the fighting earl was not left unhonoured and unsung among the paths of gentleness 
and peace. 

Gilbert's character was summed up not unfairly by the writer of the chronicle of Lanercost. 
" Prudens in consiliis, strenuus in armis et audacissimus in defensione sui juris " (" Prudent in 
counsel, vigorous in warfare, and in defence of his own rights absolutely fearless "), 6 and that 
chronicler then relates the well-known stoi*y of how, in reply to the question by what warrant he 
held his lands, Gilbert drew his sword before the king and court, declaring that as by the sword 
the king held from his ancestors two feet in England, so he held one foot from his. The story 
is more often told of de Warenne, and, though the tale might fit, it may well be doubted if, despite 
the red hair which is supposed to go with vehemence of temper, the matter of fact and closely- 
calculating Gilbert would have been so theatrical. Indeed, it seems in better keeping with the 
man who could not keep his hands off his opponent in a court of justice. It may be noted that 
the "quo warranto" writs were issued in October 1274, soon after Edward's return to England and 
his entertainment by de Clare and de Warenne at Tonbridge and Reigate, when both were in a 
position to assert their rights frankly. 

For the rest Gilbert's career shewed to the full the fitful chequered vicissitude of his times, 
and to modern ideas it seems almost impossible that a man should appear and reappear on either 
side successively as the Red earl did, and yet maintain integrity of character. But, as Mr. Maiden 
puis it, "the de Clares were always cross-bench men." Chiefly, no doubt, they stood for their own 
baronial rights, but in doing so they had to face all ways. Thus Gilbert, first on de Montfort's 
side against kingly and foreign favourites' tyranny, could still less brook a de Montfort dictator- 

1 A brew-house (domum bracineam), five shops with solars 3 Registr. Roff., 553-4. 

over, and 13*. 4d. rent. It is "Forde" in the will, but * P. R., Jan. 6, 1324 (360). 

Registr. Roff. 553 gives the name in full ia 1369 as Fordham, s Wilts Archoeol. and Nat. Hist. Mag., X., 317; XXIX., 

which is no doubt ri^'lit. 89. 

- Cal. Wills, Court of Husting, London, T., 139, 279. ° Chron. de Lanercost, 108. 



ship. When that was overthrown at Evesham, and the royalist pendulum swung back once more 
towards foreign domination and the crushing out of de Montfort's late allies, Gilbert was in arms 
again for better terms for the defeated barons and for moderation. Rebellious as he shewed 
himself when he seized London in 1268, his action was not without unselfish motives. With the 
death of Henry and the advent of a stronger king, more able to keep the peace himself and rule, the 
usefulness of the cross-bench men of that day, whose speeches were made by the march of armed 
forces across country and not with words over leather benches, very largely declined, while their 
turbulence became the more apparent. That Gilbert was grasping, ambitious and unscrupulous is 
evident; that those qualities grew deeper and harder in him with the very feeding of success as 
life advanced cannot be doubted ; that they were the common vices of his class and age may not be 
denied ; but if judgment must be passed upon him for the failings so crudely shewn in the rough 
clash of life in those early days of England's hammering into shape, let it not be forgotten 
that while he stood as a baron for the right of might and self-aggrandisement, he stood also for 
justice between man and man, for moderation in the use of victory, for loyalty to throne and 
country. England owes him a debt of memory, at least, for the moment when he stretched his 
hand above the dead king in Westminster Hall, and, first of all the prelates and nobles present, 
swore fealty to the absent Edward. 

Gilbert had not died in the best of odour with his royal father-in-law and lord, but death drew 
the blunt end of the stylus over his trespasses. At Joan's request his executors (one of whom was 
Adam, rector of Blechingley) were pardoned the fine of 10,000 marks made with the king " for 
contempt." This was the old de Bohun business. 1 The threatened application of " the king's 
hand in another manner " as to the retention of the Llandaff temporalities had been unnecessary, 
for Gilbert had surrendered them ; and the fact that John of Monmouth was not consecrated to the 
see until February 10th, 1296, was due to the change of Popes consequent on the abdication of the 
hermit Pope Celestine in the previous year, 2 and not to any de Clare intrigues. 

The royal widow, as co-grantee, had naturally the custody of her late husband's lands, and of 
his son and heir. No doubt she knew, as the custom of those days went, that it would not be long 
before her father would dispose to advantage of her person and her wealth in a new alliance, and in 
fact he was actually arranging for her marriage with the count of Savoy ; 3 but Joan was not 
Edward's daughter without having some of his determination. Though the mother of four children 
she was barely 25 years old, and she meant to please herself. Accordingly, at some date before 
August 1297,' probably some months before, she quietly married Ralph de Monthermer (de Monte 
Hermerii), a man of good family, but a simple squire in her late husband's service. The kingly and 
paternal wrath was deeply stirred when he was made aware of it, and Joan found herself deprived 
of all her lands, fined 8,000 marks, and interned in a castle till further orders. 5 But probably Joan 
knew the way to Edward's heart when she stoutly declared that if it were no shame for a great earl 
to marry a poor girl, it was no more shame for a countess to lift to honour a strenuous young man. 6 
The king's anger was not long-lived, and in September he was actually finding house-room for the 

1 P. R., Jan. 18, 1296 (183). P. R., Jan. 10, 1303 (101). 
"Contempt in going when forbidden, with horses and arms 
against Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, and 
destroying lands of the latter in the Welsh March, for which 
he was condemned to prison." The fine is here called £10,000, 
not marks ; but see above, p. 106. 

5 Celestine V. (canoniz«d in 1313 and celebrated on 
May 19) abdicated the Papacy on Dec. 13, 1294, and so gave 
Dante occasion for his famous lines when in hell he saw 
" l'ombra di colui, che fece per viltate il gran rifiuto." 
Inf., III., 59-60. 

3 Foed., March 16, 1297 (124) ; P. R., same date (243). 

4 P. R., Aug. 28, 1297 (306) ; Nomination of attorneys 
in Ireland for Ralph and Joan. C. R., May 15, 1297 (30), is 
an order to the keeper of Joan's lands to allow her reasonable 
maintenance, which probably implies sequestration on discovery 
of her marriage, and on July 19 he was enjoined to go on 
holding them, C. R. (45); and the king was presenting to 
Joan's advowson of "VVyk that month, as holding her lands. 
P. R., July 3, 1297(288). 

s Cf. P. R., Sept. 20, 1300 (534). 
6 John de Trokelowe, R. S., 27. 

S 2 



liapp}' couple in the outer bailey of Windsor castle, 1 while Ralph himself, who served with much 
distinction in Scotland, was soon received into such high favour that in April 1298, when summoned 
with all the force he could muster to meet the king at York for a council of war, he was actually 
styled earl of Gloucester and Hertfoi'd. 2 

Joan bore Ralph two sons and a daughter — and the birth of the daughter, perhaps the first- 
born, was announced by special messenger to Joan's father at the end of January 1300, when Simon 
de Coupewell, described as " valet of the countess of Gloucester," received £3 6s. 8d. (5 marks) 
from Edward I. and £2 10s. from his son Edward for bringing them the news, as appears in the 
king's wardrobe account for the year. 3 

Three years later at Linlithgow the king gave to Ralph and Joan jointly the castle and honour 
of Tonbridge and other lands of Joan's in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, together with the Isle of 

" taken over by the king by reason of a trespass committed by the said countess Joan " (being no doubt 
her second marriage with Monthermer), " together with as much stock of oxen, plough cattle (affrorwni) 
and other beasts as were in them on the day the king took them over, but saving to the king any excess 
accrued since ; " 

and this grant, which included Blechingley, was specifically stated to be a reward for the good 
service rendered by Ralph in Scotland.* So sure indeed was Monthermer of his ground that he 
even claimed the third penny of the counties for the earldoms of Hertford and Gloucester, besides 
£40 19s. h\d. for the Barton of Bristol which Gilbert, he alleged, used to have ; and the latter 
claim, made first in 1302, 5 was still in arrears and under enquiry in 1307. 6 

In fact his official position as holder of the earldom of his wife's late husband was fully 
recognized. So Monthermer, summoned to parliament as an earl and performing the military 
services which attached to such a title (to which he had no shadow of hereditary claim), affords a 
conspicuous example, and in those days by no means an unique one, of how the rank and privileges 
of an earldom were allowed to him who could best discharge its duties during the minority of the 
real heir. So much was this the case that at the siege of Carlaverock in 1300 the famous roll of 
arms of those present 7 shews " Sir Rafe Mounthermer " bearing on his banner the de Clare 
chevrons, though he was vested with the Monthermer coat and crest. In fact he was married to 
the earldom, much as a bishop is regarded heraldically as married to his see, the arms of which 
impale the bishop's own coat; and had impalement then been in use probably de Clare would have 
impaled Monthermer instead of vice versa. 9. His own arms were Or, an eagle display ed vert, and he 
bore a similar eagle for his crest, as appears from his seal in 1301, 9 but of his family nothing seems 
to be known previous to his marriage. 

1 C. It., Sept. 16, 1297 (63). Order to the constable to 
deliver the houses of outer bailey to Joan, ctess. of G., and Ralph 
de Mahcriuer (the spelling shews the unf amiliarity of the name 
to the royal clerk) for their own and household's residence, 
during pleasure. The king was then in Gascouy and young 
Edward was Regent. 

3 C. R, April 10, 1298 (201). 

3 Published by Soc. Antiq. in 1787 (p. 156). 

4 C. R., Nov. 16, 1301 (473). 

6 C. R., April 28, 1302 (527, 569). 

6 Ibid., March 20, 1307 (495-6). 

7 Preserved in the Charles Roll : Harl. 6,589, f. 50 (index 
.'51 6). In Nicolas's siege of Carlaverock (1828), 48, the 
de Clare and Mouthurmcr arms aro shewn on scparato bauners. 
Nicolas gives a good account of Ralph, pp. 275 — 9. 

8 At this period "dimidiation " for coats of husband and 
wife was in vogue; impalement not obtainiug for another 
two or three generations. "Dimidiation," as the word implies, 
halved both coats joining them in one shield, which gave many 
strange animals. In the arms of Winchclsoa the result is still 
seen in 3 half lions (for England) tailing into 3 half ships 
(for the port). The Red earl's sister Margaret thus dimidiated 
her arms with those of her husband Edmund of Cornwall, and 
the de Clare chevrouels afforded a good instance of the objection 
to the practice as mutilating the coat and making it difficult 
to recognize. (Copinger, Heraldry simplified, 1812, and 
Boutell, English Heraldry, 167-8.) 

9 Some Feudal Lords aud their seals, 1301 (do Walden 
Library), xxvii. and 9. 


Not unnaturally the most striking thing about him was his sudden elevation as Joan's husband, 
and so he is described in the siege of Carlaverock : — 

Celui dont bien fuvent aidies 
Et achievees les amours 
Apres grans doubtes et cremours 
Tant ke dieus leu voult delivre estre 
Por la contesse de Gloucestre 
Por long tens souffri grans maus. 
De or fin o trois cliiovrons vermaus 
I ot baniere seulement 
Si ne faisoit pas maleinent 
Kant ses propres armes vestoit 
Jaunes ou le egle verde estoit 
Et ot nom Rauf de Monthermer. 

He by whom tbey were well supported, acquired, after great doubts and fears until it pleased God 
he should be delivered, the love of the countess of Gloucester, for whom he a long time endured great 
sufferings. He had only a banner of fine gold with three red chevrons. He made no bad appear- 
ance when attired in his own arms, which were yellow with a green eagle. His name was Ealph de 
Monthermer. 1 

But meanwhile young Gilbert was growing up, and when he was 13 his marriage was 
entrusted to Queen Margaret, who was to have the whole fine due to the king if he married without 
the royal consent ; 3 but certain of his lands, not included in the grant to the Red earl and Joan, 
being apparently the dower lands of Maud widow of earl Richard, were granted to Monthermer 
during Gilbert's minority. 3 

The year 1307 was an eventful one in the family history. Monthermer with Aymer de Valence 
was commanding in Scotland, when in February the king — 

"greatly and justly wondered why he had no news as to how they had progressed in their pursuit of 
the rebels," 

and demanded an immediate answer, adding that — 

" he suspects from their silence that they have so perversely pursued matters as to wish their doings to 
escape the king's notice." 4 

The rebellion under Bruce, which was to culminate seven years later with Bannockburn and the 
extinction of the de Clare line, had begun. That spring Joan died at her manor of Clare and was 
buried in the Augustinian church there, when her father ordered that all the bishops and clergy 
should be requested to pray for her soul. 5 Her first husband's lands were at once taken over by the 
royal escheator, 6 and Ralph de Monthermer, who had been promised the earldom of Athol, received 
instead a pardon of all debts due from him and Joan or from the late Gilbert de Clare (which the 
king would recover from Gilbert's heirs), and also a grant of 10,000 marks to buy land for himself 

1 Siege of Carlaverock. N. H. Nicolas. 1828. 48-9. Tenet (Thanet), which fell to Gilbert by inheritance after the 

2 P. E., Aug. 22, 1304 (257). surrender and re-grant to him and Joan. 

3 P. It., Oct. 13, 1305 (388). The manors of Naseby 4 C. R., Feb. 11, 1307 (524). 

(Northants) and Soulbury (Bucks). Manors— Preston in 5 Flor. Hist., III., 142. April 23 is the date of death 

Craven, Hameletou of Spenhamlonde (in Newbury, Berks), given, but the request for prayers is dated April 1, so probably 

Welles and Warham (Norfolk). Treugruk (Mon.), Thaxted it was March 23. Feed., April 1, 1307 (144), at Carlisle. 
(Essex), Bureford (Oxon), Easington (Bucks), Hamelton of 6 P. R., May 20, 1307 (524). 



and his three children by Joan. 1 Monthermer married again Isabella sister and co-heiress of Aymer 
de Valence, earl of Pembroke, and widow of Sir John Hastings, but he seems to have had no 
children by her and died in or soon after 1324. Of his children by Joan Thomas married, was 
killed off Shiys in 1340, and left a daughter Margaret who married Sir John de Montacute, second 
son of the 1st earl of Salisbury, in which title the barony of Monthermer eventually merged; the 
second son Edward seems to have died childless and was buried by his mother at Stoke Clare, 2 
while the daughter Mary married Duncan, 12th earl of Fife. 

1 P. R., June 24, 1307 (534). 

; See D.N.B., Monthermer: Weever's "Ancient Funeral 
Monuments,'' 740. In the preceding pages, 734— 9, Weever 
gives a long dialogue iu Latin and English verse between a 
stranger and an Augustiniau friar meeting at Joan of Acre's 
tomb at Stoke Clare. The poem records the de Clare genealogy 

(wrongly, making the Red earl son of another Gilbert), and 
also relates how Richard de Clare first brought the Augustinian 
friars to England for love of Friar Giles and his book, de Regi- 
mine princijmm. It goes on to tell (correctly) of the lady 
Elizabeth's descendants, ending with Edward, earl of March 
(afterwards Edward IV.), so it may be dated about 1450. 


VIII. — The last earl. Bannockburn. 

1307. Meanwhile young Gilbert de Clare, now just over sixteen and therefore fit to bear arms, 
had joined the king's forces in Scotland soon after his mother's death. He was attended by his 
cousin and namesake Gilbert son of Thomas de Clare, who, as has been already seen, was aged 
twenty-three and already a bit of a veteran, having served in the campaign of 1300, and so no doubt 
had special charge of his young chief. 

Bruce, whose forces had been scattered by Monthermer and de Valence, had himself escaped 
and was harassing the English ; while Edward, worn out with illness, marched from Carlisle in 
pursuit, but died before he could cross the border on July 7th, 1307. The new king Edward II., 
who was just twenty-three, a full seven years older than his nephew Gilbert, at once made a further 
grant to Monthermer of 5,000 marks to be paid in half-yearly instalments of 500 marks, in con- 
sideration of his surrendering young Gilbert's lands, on which, as husband of the late countess Joan 
co-grantee of all the de Clare estates, he had a special lien. 1 From this time Monthermer is never 
again styled earl of Gloucester and Hertford, and the stepfather being thus handsomely paid out, 
Gilbert at once received from his uncle a grant of all his lands in Wales (then in the king's hands 
by reason of his minority), with all appurtenances of his inheritance in England, Ireland and Wales, 
subject to a yearly payment of 1,000 marks for the lands in Wales. 3 And the following November 
an order to the escheator this side Trent stated that out of affection the king has restored his 
father's lands to Gilbert in order that he may receive knighthood and serve the king (arrna militaria 
recipere) . 3 

1308. Next year accordingly, after the coronation of Edward and his bride Isabella of France 
in London on February 25th, Gilbert took part in the great tournament at Dunstable, and appears 
in the contemporary roll of arms of those present 4 as "Le countede Glocestre, or 3 chevrons goules." 
There was also present Sir Richard de Clare (as already related) bearing the family coat with 
a label of three points azure ; and Sir Nicholas de Clare of Gloucestershire, who bore it within a 
bordure engrailed sable. Sir Richard was the younger son of Thomas de Clare (died 1287) and heir 
of his elder brother Gilbert then recently dead, of all of whom some account has already been given. 
The label was a difference marking a younger son, or as in this case, a cadet branch ; while the 
engrailed bordure marked perhaps a more distant line than the label. The custom of a cadet 
branch bearing the coat in a bordure was common at this date, and it was not for another hundred 
years or more that the marks of cadency were adopted, which afterwards became systematised and 

The Dunstable tournament was soon followed by more serious business, and in the octave of 
the Assumption (August 15th to 22nd) the earl of Gloucester and Hertford was summoned to 
Carlisle, with all his service en route for Scotland with the king, to suppress the rebellion of Robert 
Bruce. 5 

These years were a time of great misery and distress in England, where the shameful persecu- 
tion of the Knights Templars was imitated from France, while Edward's favourite and minister, the 
Gascon Piers Gaveston, was hated by the barons. Humphrey de Bohun earl of Hereford, son of 
the Red earl's old enemy, and Thomas earl of Lancaster, son of Edmund Crouchback brother of 

1 P. R., Aug. 30, 1307 (5). « Charles Roll, Harl. MSS. 6589. 

2 P. R., Aug. 18, 1307 (1). 5 C. R., June 21, 1308 (70). 

3 C. R., Nov. 26, 1307 (10). 


Edward 1., were the leaders of the barons' faction, -while Gilbert himself, with his hereditary rival 
de Warenne, was on the king's side. It is curious how family relationships cut across the new 
political divisions. De Bohun's wife was Elizabeth, sister to the king, whose nephew Gilbert was ; 
but the explanation is to be found, firstly in the antagonism to the king of the younger Plantagenet 
branch, which, quickly developing under the shifty rule of Edward II. became later a family 
tradition ; and secondly, in the further attachment of Gilbert to the king's party by self-interest, 
through the marriage of his beautiful sister Margaret on October 29th (or November 1st), 1309, to 
the favourite Gaveston, who was given the royal earldom of Cornwall with almost sovereign rights 
over the whole county. 

Despite the troublous days Gilbert had had time to think of marriage, though not apparently 
time to do his own courting. He had leave iu 1308 from his royal uncle to marry whom he would, 1 
and his choice fell on the family of Richard de Burgh earl of Ulster and lord of Connaught. So he 
dispatched envoys, who selected for him Maud (or Matilda) as the fairest of Ulster's daughters, and 
on Michaelmas day 1308 she was married to Gilbert, then not yet 18 ; while next day Gilbert's sister 
Elizabeth, aged 16, was married to John de Burgh, brother of Gilbert's bride. 2 Maud had, however, 
as a child of six been affianced to John de Bremergh (Birmingham) earl of Louth. He, too, was a 
child when his father Peter arranged the match with Ulster, and he and his affianced bride had 
met only once since they were grown up, when he made her a present of a book at a friend's 
house. When Gilbert's envoys appeared on the scene, John obligingly transferred his engagement to 
the sister Aveline, whether under pressure or not does not appear, but in any case he married Aveline 
instead of Maud. The curious tale is told in the papal registers for October 1320, when he and his 
wife received a much-belated dispensation to " remain in the marriage they have contracted," 
coupled with a declaration of the legitimacy of their children. 3 A great meeting of nobles took 
place for Gilbert's wedding, and it was proposed to hold a " Round table," but the disturbed state 
of the country and fear of treachery caused it to be abandoned. A third de Burgh sister, Elizabeth, 
was already the second wife of Robert Bruce, crowned king of Scotland in 1306, the future victor 
of Bannockburn, and father by her of David II. 

Less than six months after his marriage Gilbert obtained a grant that all debts due from 
him to the exchequer should be charged on his heirs, and his executors were to have free 
administration of all his goods and chattels for the execution of his will. 4 This seems a 
wide grant in those days of royal escheats, but Gilbert could pretty well dictate his wishes, 
for his support was almost vital to the king. But the yotng earl, although so powerful, was 
in a difficult position, standing as he did between his hated brother-in-law Piers Gaveston 
and his other scarcely less hated brother-in-law le Dispenser on the one side, and the barons 
on the other; and he was apparently endeavouring at this time to keep the peace. But 
the barons under Thomas of Lancaster were on the verge of rebellion, and the country was 
seething with discontent. A long letter to the Pope, dated from Stamford on August 6th, 1309, 5 
and signed by all the chief barons with Gilbert heading the list, set forth the abuses and miseries 
for which remedy was craved, and tells the oft-repeated tale ; while two months before its despatch 
a meeting between the king and Lancaster at Kennington, when Gilbert was charged with 
Lancaster's safe conduct, failed to settle their differences. Edward attempted an expedition to 
Scotland as a diversion, while the great barons were forbidden to tourney or hold jousts or seek 
adventures or do other feats of arms in England, 7 and ordered to provide horses and arms for the 
Scottish campaign. 8 Gilbert was appointed captain ; all were bidden to give him due assistance, 9 
and so he started northwards. The due assistance ordained was translated by the Archbishop of 

1 P. P., March 12, 1308 (50). 2 Ann. Londin., I., 156. 3 Pap. Reg., II., 209. 

4 P. R., March 11, 1309 (107). 6 Ann. Londin., I., 162—5. • Peed., May 24, 1309 (156). 

7 C. P., June 14, 1309 (159). 8 C. 11., June 20, 1309 (160). 9 Feed., Sept. 14, 1309 (158). 


York (William de Grenefeld) into such royal hospitality to de Clare that the kino- had to promise it 
should not be quoted as a precedent. 1 Bat the campaign itself, conducted by Gilbert, de Warenne 
and Gaveston, and poorly supported by the barons, brought no victories, for the Scots first retreated 
before the invaders and then harassed their return to England. 

That year a commission was formed, including Archbishop Winchelsey of Canterbury, with the 
bishops and chief peers, to elect persons from among themselves for one year from Michaelmas, to 
order for the good of the royal household, the realm, and church. 2 It was expressly stated that 
such grant was by the king's free will, but it was really putting the royal powers in commission 
with the "Ordainers" as they were called. Gilbert, however, was not prepared to go so far in the 
tutelage of his uncle, and on May 11th, 1310, in his presence the great seal was formally delivered 
to the king, 3 when apparently Gilbert himself, de Warenne and Cornwall dissociated themselves 
from the new ordinances. But Gilbert, with the earls of Lincoln, de Warenne and Richmond, had 
been appointed commissioners earlier in the year to secure safe conduct to members of Parliament, 
with general powers to secure order and punish offenders, 1 and they presumably kept these powers. 

The same spring Gilbert accused the Bishop of Durham of plundering Tewkesbury Abbey and 
carrying off his jewels, charters, muniments and other valuables, and sued for redress. 5 He also 
instituted proceedings for breach of his parks during his minority, in various counties, including 
Blachingleye in Kent (sic). A more interesting and uncommon act was his grant of land at Deineck 
(? Deviock) in Cornwall for the use of the poor students at the University of Oxford in 1310 
or 1311.7 

Early in 1311 Gilbert was north again, and with de Warenne marched through Selkirk forest, 
taking the submission of the people, 8 but on the death of his second cousin Henry de Lacy earl of 
Lincoln, king's lieutenant, Gilbert was chosen to succeed him, being appointed Keeper of the 
realm and king's lieutenant during the king's absence in Scotland. 9 Accordingly he returned to 
England and that spring had leave for the season whenever passing through royal forests to hunt 
and take one stag, and also to kill venison for the king's own use. 10 Next year he had the custody 
of all minors and all marriages which might fall in, until the sum of 5,000 marks (a free grant from 
the king) should be paid. 11 Such a gift must have satisfied this grant pretty quickly, and it 
probably left him drawing income from escheated estates long after Edward the improvident knew 
what was happening. Meanwhile the king's expedition was no more successful than the last, many 
of the barons declining to follow him and clamouring for Gaveston's disgrace. Parliament met in 
stormy times, and proclamation was issued that Gilbert and certain other peers should attend 
without horses or arms. 13 Finally Gaveston, who was " wandering from place to place in the south- 
west," 13 was banished by solemn ordinance for life, Gilbert not voting against him, but being content 
to let the will of the barons prevail. 

Next year, however, Gaveston was back and joined Edward in the north. Lancaster, de Bohun 
and Warwick were soon in hot pursuit, and civil war raged all over the north and midlands. Gave- 
ston surrendered at Scarborough on terms to Pembroke, but Warwick, whom he had nicknamed 
" Black Dog," and who had sworn to bite him accordingly, 13 got hold of him in June by stratagem 

1 Foed., Oct. 21, 1309 (159), and P. R., same date (195). 5 P. R., March 18, 1310 (256-7). 

Gerv. Cant., II., 322. This lavish entertainment was perhaps 6 P. P., May 20, 1310 (261-2). 

in acknowledgment of Gilbert's good offices that spring, when ' Hist. MSS. Com.; various Collections, Vol. IV.; Dean 

he was one of the mediators sent by the king to compose a and Chapt. of Exeter, 75. 

dispute between the two archbishops about their attendances 8 Chron. de Lanercost, 214 (Maxwell, 191). 

at Parliament and the carrying of his cross in London by the 9 Peed., March 4, 1311 (164). P.R., March 4, 1311 (333). 

Archbishop of York. "> P. R., March 20, 22, 1311 (336). 

■ C. P., Enrolment on March 31, 1310, of deed dated " P. P., July 15, 1311 (376, 381). 

March 17, 1309 (253). a -paid., Nov. 28, 1311 (168). 

3 C. R., Memo, under date (258). 13 Chron. de Lanercost, 216 (Maxwell, 194). 

4 P. R., Feb. 7, 1310 (206). 



and took him to his own castle at Warwick. There Gaveston's death was decided, hut Warwick 
handed him over to Lancaster for execution, and on Blacklow Hill, only two miles from Warwick 
hut on Lancaster's land, Gaveston was butchered by two Welshmen and then beheaded on June 
19th, 1312. So Margaret de Clare was widowed mainly owing to her half-sister's husband. 1 The 
king was furious, and with unwonted energy tried to raise a party among the barons to help him to 
vengeance ; but Hugh le Dispenser, his chief support, was little more popular than Piers, and Gilbert, 
coming out strongly in the family character of cross-bencher, contrived to patch up the quarrel. 

The role of Keeper of the realm evidently suited Gilbert well, and he played it so thoroughly 
that he summoned the mayor and bailiffs of Bristol to London to answer before him and other 
prelates and nobles for certain contempts. This was such an usurpation of the kingly power that 
Edward forbade their attendance ; 2 but the de Clare method of resenting injury came out in the 
blood, and next year a peremptory order had to be issued to Gilbert and Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 
then constable of the town, not to besiege Bristol. 3 

Early in 1313 Gilbert was with the king at Windsor, where he witnessed the royal confirmation 
of charters to the Priory of St. Frideswide's at Oxford, 4 and he was that year again named Keeper, 
when Edward proposed going to France, but the appointment was carefully limited to the period of 
the king's absence. 5 He was also one of the commissioners for opening and holding Parliament. 8 
His wife bore him a son on April 3rd, 1312, at Cardiff, who was christened John with much pomp, 
but died the same year.? Indeed the luck seems to have deserted the de Clares when they 
forsook the old alternating names of Gilbert and Richard, which had held good for nine generations 
from Gilbert Crispin to the Eed earl. Thus this Gilbert, himself son of a Gilbert, not a Richard, 
was killed next year at the age of 23, while his son John had already died in infancy. 

In 1313 Gilbert probably visited his Blechingley home, or at least intended doing so, for he 
bought up all the cattle and corn at Merstham belonging to the convent of Christ Church, 
Canterbury, for the sustenance of his house at Blechingley, and issued a rather peremptory notice 
to the royal officers warning them not to take any of this stock on any pretence. 8 The huge 
retinue of a great feudal lord made a long stay at any particular manor generally inadvisable, if 
not impossible. In fact movement from one manor to another was in ordinary circumstances 
largely determined by how much there was to eat there; because since roads were bad for wheeled 
traffic, it was very much easier to bring the mouths to the food than vice versa. So it may fairly 
be supposed that this unusual purchase of these local stores meant a special intention to pay 
Blechingley a visit of some duration. It may also be inferred that the castle was in ruins and no 
longer habitable, since the notice speaks of his "house" and not "castle." At this time Robert 
de Chevington, who had been presented by Gilbert's stepfather Ralph de Month errner in 1302, was 
rector. He was a friend of Gilbert, who this very year obtained leave from Rome for him to hold 
another benefice with Blechingley, and it is just possible that the planning or actual building of the 
north transept was one matter which brought the young earl to his chief Surrey seat. That 
summer he had leave from the Pope at Avignon to have a portable altar, 9 and in the autumn the 
king gave him general leave to sport for the season along all preserved rivers in the kingdom, 
except the Lae (Lea) in Essex and the Thames about Windsor, and to keep his bag (licentiam in 
instante seisona riveationis .... riveare et deductum suum habere). 10 

1 Guy de Beauchamp, carl of Warwick, had married 4 Oxf. Hist. Soc, Cart, of St. Fridcswido, I., 67-8. 

Isabella, younger of the two daughters of Gilbert the Red earl s Ann. Londin., II., 191. 

and Alice. Guy had dispensation for the marriage, legiti- 6 P. E., July 1, 1313 (594). 

mining any children, as they were of the fourth degree of 7 Flor. Hist., III., 335. 

cousinship. (Pap. Reg., May 11, 1297, p. 570.) See above, 8 Hist. MSS. Com., VIII. Papers of the Deau and 
p. 121. ! 0. P., March 8, 1312 (450). Chapter of Canterbury. 

• Feed., Aug. 18, 1313 (179). De Badlesmere married 9 Pap. Reg., June 29, 1813 (112). 

Margaret de Clare, daughter of the crusader Thomas aud first 10 P. R., Oct. 2, 1313 (18). 
cousin to Gilbert. See above, pp. 127-8. 





{Reproduced from Dingley's " History from Marble," II, cccxlii, ccclvii.) 


Next year, the last of his life, Gilbert had credence for going on a mission for the king to 
France. 1 He probably went, because at his request Eobert le Venur (perhaps a Blechingley man) 
had protection till midsummer while staying beyond seas on the earl's business, which reads as if 
he had been left behind there. But in any case Gilbert was back in good time for the fatal 
campaign in Scotland, and his move northwards was already settled by March 10th, when John le 
Ferur, Nicholas de Somers, Thomas de Folguardy, Warin le Ferur and Novellus Lutnbard had 
protection with writ of aid on going north to provide for the earl on his road to Scotland. 2 Le Ferur, 
the farrier, was a common name (its occurrence twice among these few servants shews that, while 
its commonest English form is not Ferrier but Smith), but it is quite possible that John was 
a Blechingley man. In fact it is rather suggested by the apparently long stay intended at 
Blechingley in 1313, coupled with Gilbert's intimacy with the rector (who was later one of his 
executors), and last but not least by the very heavy head of deer kept in the Blechingley parks, 3 that 
this manor was a favourite one with the last earl. 

That spring Bruce was carrying the north before him ; he had taken Edinburgh and Roxburgh, 
and was besieging Stirling, which had agreed to surrender if not relieved by Midsummer day. 
This last news stirred Edward to the utmost haste. He at once sent the earl of Pembroke forward 
to reconnoitre, and himself advanced with all who would follow him. Lancaster, de Warren, 
Arundel and Warwick had stayed behind, sending only the few soldiers they were legally bound to 
supply; but Edward, refusing to wait longer, pushed on from Berwick towards Stirling a week 
before the day appointed for surrender. He marched in haste and confidence, more like a pilgrim to 
Compostella, says the chronicle, than a general to battle, taking no care to keep men or horses fresh.* 

De Clare, who had brought 500 men at his own expense, led the van with Henry de Bohun, and 
on Sunday, Midsummer's eve, they blundered into a woodland ambush. De Bohun fell under 
Bruce's own battle axe, and his squire also died in a vain attempt to save his lord ; de Clare was 
unhorsed, but escaped with his life, while the discomfited vanguard fell hastily back on the main 
body, leaving many on the field. That night the army bivouacked with little rest and constant 
alarm lest Bruce should make a night attack. Counsel was divided next day, many of the older 
leaders urging delay on the score of resting their men and horses and observing St. John's day. 
Gilbert himself gave the same advice, but the king was resolved on an immediate action, and 
declared delay to be the advice of paltering traitors. His ill-judged violence overbore resistance 
and Gilbert declared that very day should prove if he were a traitor or not. 4 

Meanwhile the Scottish forces were drawn up in three dense bodies, all on foot, but armed with 
lances and presenting something of the solid formation of the Macedonian phalanx. Gilbert 
charged headlong on the foe, who, according to the Mnlmesbury account, were themselves 
advancing. But the Seots had protected their lines with pitfalls full of sharpened stakes, 5 and the 
suggestion is that they awaited the charge of the lumbering horses and heavily-armoured knights 
behind their unsuspected defences. Whether in this case Gilbert ever actually reached their lines 
may be doubted ; in any case his horse fell heavily with him, and cumbered with his armour and 
unable to rise and defend himself, he was miserably despatched by the enemy before help could 
reach him. Giles of Argentin, who saw his fall, dashed vainly to his help, only to share his fate, 
while his own followers stood helplessly and uselessly watching, without a finger lifted to his aid. 
"The Lord confound them ! " ejaculates the Malmesbury chronicler, who, however, says nothing of 
the pitfalls, so possibly the mounted men were themselves floundering among the sharpened stakes 
unable to reach their fallen lord, whose horse had carried him close up to the Scottish lines 
before he fell. 

1 Feed., Feb. 26, 1314 (182). P. E., Feb. 20, sajs : " going * Chron. Edw. I. and II. (Malmesbury), R. S., 201—4. 

beyond seas in the train of Queen Isabella" (8C). 5 Mon. de Mel., II., 331. 

- P. 11., March 10, 1314 (92). 6 Chron. Edw. I. and II. (Malmesbury), 204. 

3 See Gilbert's I.P.M. in Chap. IV. 

T 2 


A contemporary Latin poem, 1 which describes the battle from a kind of high moral armchair 
point of view, tells how the earl of Gloucester rushing first like an unconquered Actseus on the foe 
and dealing deadly blows, was left unaided among the Scots; and one particular retainer, 
Bartholomew by name, is singled out for special curses and comparison to Judas. But as 
Bartholomew's excuse is stated to have been that he had "been away more than six weeks" 
(i.e., had already put in the full 40 days required for a knight's service), and later the poem speaks 
of the faithful squires who fell with the earl, it is not clear if the treacherous Bartholomew is 
represented as actually on the battlefield at all. The poem ends bidding Gloucester lament for the 
loss of her lord, like a woman widowed, a city without a head, and the last line is a prayer for her 
better fortune, which points to the author being a Gloucestershire man, and very likely a monk 
of Tewkesbury. 

Another almost contemporary account speaks of the orgies of the English soldiery the night 
before the battle, compared with the silent vigil of fast and prayer in the Scottish lines. 2 The 
Scots, however, had not trusted to prayer only, but had protected the whole of their front with 
staked pitfalls three feet deep and three feet wide, covered with hurdles and turves so as to carry 
footmen, but break under the weight of horses. All that fell in these were butchered, excepting 
only the rich. Gladly would the Scots have spared Gilbert had they known his rank ; but 
unfortunately, perhaps because of the previous day's skirmish, he had not on his full coat-armour 
and so perished with the unconsidered commoners. 3 Such carefulness for ransom was not confined 
to the Scots only, but was usual in mediseval days. 

Walsingham's account says that he charged like a wild boar and slew many of the Scots, even 
lopping off heads and arms before being surrounded and overwhelmed, 4 and it may be readily 
believed that whether he was able to take toll of the foe or no, the last earl of his race met his end 
with the unshaken courage of his noble ancestors. 

From these conflicting accounts the general idea of the battle has traditionally become that of 
a heavy cavalry charge unable to be pushed home because of the pitfalls, and so ending in the 
massacre of the knights and leaders and the consequent breaking up and rout of the foot 
soldiers. Mr. Mackenzie, however, has more recently 5 given a widely different reading of the 
happenings of that fatal day, and he certainly appears to have made out his ease. Shortly, it 
would seem that after the disastrous encounter of Sunday in the wood, which was more serious 
than is suggested by most of the chroniclers, the English, badly shaken, made for the " carse " or 
open ground which lay between the Bannock burn and the river Forth, towards their junction. 
Here, with the " pools " or water channels and mud flats of the Forth behind them on the 
east, they encamped actually between the river and the burn, so that on three sides they were 
hemmed in with water. Edward's resolve to attack was therefore the right one, for it was his 
only chance of extricating himself from the unfortunate position he had taken up, confident no 
doubt that the Scottish footmen would never dare to attack his armoured horsemen. But Bruce 
was general enough to see his advantage, and next morning, before the knights were in the 
saddle, he advanced in four solid divisions of infantry upon the English, who lay massed together 
in the straitened ground, with only their vanguard disengaged. These four " schiltroms " 3 or 
bodies of foot soldiers bristling with spears moved to the attack in echelon formation, and it was 
then that Gloucester charged headlong on the nearest body. The Scots received the shock 
unyieldingly, and with their pikes, stabbing at horses' legs and bellies rather than at the armoured 

1 Pol. Songs, 262— 7. 6 The Battle of Bannookburn, by W. M. Mackenzie, 

= Chronicon Galfridi le Baker de Swynebroko, ed Mauude- M.A. Glasgow, 1013. 
Thompson, Oxford, 1889, 7-8. '' The sheltron, as it came to be spelt, seems to have been 

1 Chron. Edw. I. and II. ; Vita et mors, Edvv. II., It. S., literally scild-truma, the shield-troop, like the testudo of 

300. ltomau tactics, but the word was already obsolete in the 

4 Wals., I., 140-1. 15th century. 


riders, brought man and charger to the ground, the one struggling- and kicking wildly at all 
around, the other helpless and half suffocated in his heavy mail. Meanwhile the other three 
divisions struck boldly into the cramped mass of English, pressing ever further and further into a 
host, of which only those actually in front and already being overborne by the weight of their 
assailants, could fight at all, the far greater number behind being powerless to help them. " On 
them, on them, they fall," was the Scottish cry, until the English broke and fled — those who could, 
along the banks of the Forth westwards and northwards towards Stirling, while those who were cut 
off on that side essayed to swim the river and were drowned in hundreds. One other way 
of escape remained — southwards over the Bannock burn, which had been roughly bridged with 
timber for the crossing of the day before. There the flimsy bridges, constructed with doors and 
hurdles and window shutters, broke beneath their feet, and in the " pit " of the tidal streamlet's 
bed more probably lost their lives than in the Forth itself. The crush was so terrific that it was 
possible to pass dry-shod over the stifled dead, and it is the chronicler's use of this word 
"pit" (magnam foveam) from which perhaps sprang the later traditional tale of the pitfalls. 1 

Before the rout became general Edward had been hurried off the field along the Forth bank 
towai'ds Stirling, which however he did not enter ; but striking west and southwards behind the 
sheltering hills in rear of the Scots escaped to the Lowlands. 

The English losses of horsemen were numerically not very high, the estimates varying from 
200 to 700, but they included many of the noblest in the land, while the number of prisoners was 
very large. Among the latter was Gilbert's stepfather Ralph de Monthermer, who, as a personal 
friend of Robert Bruce in old days, was set free without ransom, while the bodies of Gilbert 
himself, who was Bruce's second cousin as well as husband of his wife's sister, and of other nobles 
were freely yielded up for burial by the victorious Scots. 

So perished in the twenty-fourth year of his age the last earl of the de Clare family, being of 
the ninth generation in direct descent from Richard de Tonbridge of Domesday fame, 7th earl of 
Hertford, and 9th earl of Gloucester, but 4th of that earldom in his own line, and the last head 
of the noble Norman stock which had given statesmen, patriots and warriors to the making of the 
English nation for nearly 250 years. 

1 Mackenzie, op. cit. 85 and notes. Cf. Chron. de Lanercost, (Maxwell, 207-8). 


IX. — The co-heiresses, 

Orders were at once issued by the king at Berwick to the escheators on both sides of Trent, 
evidently in pursuance of the 1309 grant, to leave all Gilbert's lands untouched until his executors 
ordained about them " as shall seem best for the health of his soul and according to his ordinance/' 
and the same day order issued to Walter de Islep and Thomas le Butiller, keepers of the late earl's 
castles aud lands, to allow his executors to take deer in his chaces and parks " for the more 
honourable celebration of his obsequies." 1 

He was buried in the abbey at Tewkesbury, where so many of his family lay, and the abbot had 
licence that winter to appropriate in mortmain the churches of Thornbury and Fairford for the 
good of his soul. 2 Of his monument nothing now remains, but there are a few broken fragments of 
sculpture preserved in a glass case in the abbey, which probably belong to the later Dispenser or 
Beauchamp monument, and include a statuette of the earl displaying the de Clare coat armour and 
bearing a reversed torch to typify the extinction of his line. 3 The place where he was laid was 
opened in 1875 in order to put down a new floor, when his skeleton, of great size, was found. The 
spot is marked by a modern brass, with the legend, 

" Gilbertus tertius nomine Glocestrie et Sertfordie comes clecimus ultimus ohiit 23 Junii 1314 proclio 
occisus Scotiis gavisus.' 1 '' 

" Gilbert, third of that name, tenlh and last earl of Gloucester and Hertford, died June 23rd, 1314, 
killed in battle, a joy to the Scots." 

On which it may be remarked that he was the fifth head of the de Clare house who bore the name 
of Gilbert, not the third. He was not the 10th earl of Gloucester and Hertford, but 9th earl of 
Gloucester (or 10th if the courtesy earld;>m of Monthermer be reckoned), 7th earl of Hertford, 
and 4th de Clare earl of Gloucester and Hertford. He fell on the 24th not the 23rd of June, and 
finally, though his death may have been a source of joy to the Scots — which, apart from the general 
joy at all the episodes of victory, may be considered more than doubtful, since they would far rather 
have had his ransom than his corpse, while the death of one so young, so distinguished, and 
moreover closely connected with the Bruce himself was universally deplored — the latinity would 
appear to be worse than if it had been written by a Tewkesbury monk of the period. 

The earl's executors were Bartholomew de Badlesmere, husband of his first cousin Margaret, 
daughter of Thomas de Clare ; Master Kichard de Clare (not her brother Sir Kichard, who figured 
at the Dunstable tournament, but a clerk from Clare and probably no kinsman), rector of Dunmow, 
who served as escheator south of Trent and wa s later chaplain to Elizabeth de Burgh ; and Robert 
de Chevyngton, rector of Blechingley. 1 

In August Brother Geoffrey de Aylesham, his confessor, had a grant of the temporalities of 
Durham during voidance of the see, as Gilbert had, by the king's leave, already promised him, 5 and 

1 C. It., .July 5, 1314 (64) ; P. It., same dale (131). others, so lie was very likely chaplain to the lady of Clare. 

" P. It., Nov. 20, 1314 (198). Cal. of Wills, Court of Husting, II., 48. lie was a pluralist, 

3 It is figured at end of this chapter. holding the rectory of Duninow from 1311—31 , with a eanonry 

* P. It., Nov. 21, 1314 (202). Itiehard de Clare is of the collegiate church of Penkridge (Staffs), the rectory of 

described as late egcheator in 1325, P. It. (117), and in 1361 Youghal in Ireland, Atherton in the Isle of Wight, etc. 

Richard de Plessys, clerk, left money for chantries for " Master ° C. It ., Aug. 7, 1314 (112). 

Richard de Clare and Dame Elizabeth de Burgo," among 


steps were taken that winter to assign suitable dower to his widow Maud. This was settled finally 
with lands in Norfolk and Suffolk, Oxford, Gloucester, Worcester, Wilts, Kent, Surrey, Ireland, 
etc, of the total yearly value of no less than jCGOO 2s. OfcL (equivalent probably to nearly £10,000 
now), among which "the manor and borough of Blecchingeleye " appears valued at £50 lGs. 10\iJ. 
yearly, and the advowson £20.' In February next year the wealthy widow was supposed to be 
pregnant, 2 and her intense anxiety to produce an heir is reflected in the records of Westminster 
Abhey, whence a monk, Dan Henri, was despatched with the " Virgin's girdle," most sacred relic of 
the abbey, "for the healing of Maud de Clare, Countess of Gloucester and Hertford." The letter, 
apologising for keeping Dan Henri so long in her train, is dated July 8th, without any year date, 
but there can be no doubt that it records for us the sorrows of the young wife, who had lost her 
first baby and was left after Bannockburn bereft of her husband and very doubtfully pregnant. 3 
The countess's letter to the Prior of Westminster is here transcribed : 3 — 

A religiouse gent et ses chers amis en dieu le priour et le couent de Westmoustere Maud de Clare 
Contesse de Gloucestre et de Hertford saluz en i'hu cmt. Sires nous vous prioms trescherement qe vous 
ne voilliez auoir a mal la ]onge demeore nostre clier et bien ame en dieu daunz Henri vostre freire en 
nostre coinpaignie. Einz .... voillez benir a excuse. Qar sachez sires qe del suffrer apartir de nous od 
la relique dount vous nous auez ose vn long temps vostre cher merci auant qe nostre estat fust autre qil 
nest vncore nous serreit un grand desconfort la quel chose esperrous qe .... vous nel desirez point. 
Sires nostre Seigneur vous ait en sa garde. Escrite a Kaerlion le viij iour de Juyl. 

But despite the Virgin's girdle summer passed and no heir appeared. The three sisters were 
accordingly co-parceners of the great de Clare estates, and in July they began to urge their claims 
in chancery. 

Eleanor, the eldest, was wife of Hugh le Dispenser the younger, the ambitious and unpopular 
successor in royal favour of the hated Piers Gaveston, late earl of Cornwall. Gaveston's widow 
was Margaret the second sister, who married as her second husband Hugh d'Audley the younger 
in April 1317. The third sister, Elizabeth, who had in 1308 married the short-lived John de Burgh, 
son of the earl of Ulster, and so become doubly sister-in-law of Gilbert's widow, had remarried with 
Theobald de Verdon, and was in 1317 for the third time married, to Roger d'Amory. The two 
elder sisters 1 seem to have first put in their claim; probably Elizabeth was in Ireland. Eleanor it 
may be noted was represented by Henry de Garston, probably from Blechingley, while Margaret 
de Gaveston countess of Cornwall, who by the final division became lady of the manor of 
Blechingley, was represented by one John Waldershef. 5 There was much delay and there seems 
to have been some curious idea of waiting two years for a possible heir, 6 but finally it was recorded 
on May 22nd, 1317, that homage had been done by the three husbands, Hugh le Dispenser, Hugh 
d'Audley and Roger d'Amory, for all the lands held in chief by earl Gilbert ; so Ralph de 
Monthermer and other holders were ordered to hand them over to the appointed keepers for 
division between the co-parceners. 7 Blechingley does not appear among them because it was part 
of the dower of Matilda ; but Robert de Chevington (already an executor) was named one of the 
three keepers to receive many of the lands, including the castle and manor of Clare and other lands 
in Suffolk and Norfolk, Surrey, Kent, Sussex and other counties. That autumn the executors 
were summoned to appear at the Exchequer on the morrow of St. Hilary with their rolls, tallies and 
memoranda, to give account of their stewardship and meanwhile to pay nothing out to the 

1 C. R., Nov. 21, and C. R., Dec. 5, 1314 bis (126, 131, 4 la Flor. Hist., III., 342, Margaret is called the youngest 

137). " C. R., Feb. 20, 1315 (138). of the three listers, but the record in C. R., May 22, 1317 (414), 

3 Westmr. Abbey Mun., 9323, for which the writer is is conclusive that she was the second, 
indebted to the late Archdeacon of "Westminster, now Bishop 5 C. R., July 13, 1315 (301). 

of Worcester. See " Monks of Westminster," 52, by E. H. « John de Trokelow, R. S., 86. 

Pearce, Canon and Archdeacon, 1916. < C. R., May 22, 1317 (414). 


co-parceners. 1 The vast estates were tben finally divided, and Blechingley fell to the share of 
Margaret d'Audley in reversion, which took effect not very long after by the death of Matilda in 
1320, 2 when she was buried by her husband in the choir of Tewkesbury Abbey, where her grave- 
stone is the only original de Clare monument in silu. 

So between the three co-heiresses the great name of de Clare was extinguished, and save for 
historical reference apj>ears no more in the records of the counties where the family owned sway, 
nor in the chronicles of the nation in which they had so largely figured. 

The further history of the three sisters must here be only briefly sketched. Eleanor's husband, 
Hugh le Dispenser the younger, was the villain of the piece, and aimed at no less than the earldom 
of Gloucester and the whole of the huge de Clare inheritance for himself. 3 Violent quarrels broke 
out between him and his two brothers-in-law Hugh d'Audley and Roger d'Amory as soon as the 
division was made, and the barons were so strong against the Dispensers, father and son, that both 
were banished in 1321. They returned to power, however, nest year and crushed Lancaster's 
rebellion at Boroughbridge ; but after a few years of their rule Queen Isabella proved a more 
successful foe, and both Dispensers were taken prisoners. The father was hanged first, and 
Eleanor's husband, taken prisoner with the king at Llantrissann, suffered the same fate at 
Hereford as an attainted traitor on November 24th, 1326 — an end to which his own arrogance and 
rapacity had largely led. Eleanor bore Hugh two sons, Hugh and Edward. Hugh (1306 — 40) died 
without issue. Edward (died 1342) married Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Burghersh, and left 
a son, also Edward, who fought at Poitiers, was K.G. at the founding of the order and, dying in 
1375, is commemorated by the unique kneeling stone effigy still to be seen in Tewkesbury Abbey. 
His son Edward for a short while bore the title of earl of Gloucester, but was executed under 
Henry IV. in 1400, and when his only son Richard died in 1414 the male line of the Dispensers 
ended. It was this Richard's sister, Isabel Dispenser (died 1439), who put up to her first husband 
Richard Beauchamp, earl of Abergavenny (died 1322), and herself the beautiful Warwick, or more 
properly Beauchamp, chantry 4 in Tewkesbury Abbey, once probably surmounted by a kneeling 
effigy of herself in imitation of her grandfather's kneeling figure in the chancel ; and it was from 
the ruin of that lovely shrine in Puritanical days that apparently came the mutilated statuette of 
the last earl Gilbert de Clare already referred to. The barony of Dispenser was revived in 1604 in 
favour of Mary Lady Fane, only daughter and heiress of Henry Nevill, lord Abergavenny, who 
was great-grandson of Isabel the chantry builder, but the subsequent history of the title need not 
here be followed further. Eleanor married secondly William Lord Zouch of Ashby de la Zouch in 
Leicestershire (died 1335) and died in or about the year 1337, after having put up or arranged for 
the putting up of the famous glass at Tewkesbury which commemorates her two husbands and 
her de Clare ancestors. 

Margaret the second sister, married in 1307 to the hated Gascon, Piers Gaveston, had been, as 
already related, widowed by Guy de Beauchamp's murderous arrangements at Blacklow Hill in 1312. 
She had no children by Gaveston, but just before the division of the ele Clare inheritance she married 
Hugh d'Audley (generally then spelt Daudele and earlier Alelithele or Aldithlegh) a younger son of 
Hugh d'Audley, one of the Marcher barons, and Isolda his wife, who was daughter of Edmund, baron 

1 C. R., Nov. 22, 1317 (583). him of his lauds without process of law, accroching to thein- 

2 C. It., Aug. 11. 1320 (323). She presented to Bleehhig- selves royal power and master}' of the king's person and by 
ley in 1320. The modern brass with French inscription let other false eompassings they compassed to have the lands of 
into the original stone at Tewkesbury gives the year wrongly Sir Roger Damary in ordor to attain the whole of the earldom 
as 1315. of Gloucester, in disinheritance of the peers of the land." 

3 C.R., Aug. 18, 1321 (492 — -1). From enrolment of pro- 4 Lady Isabel's second husband was her first husband's 
ce»s against Hugh le Dispenser, elder and younger: "also cousin and also a Richard Beauchamp, who was earl of 
they counselled the king evilly to take into his hands the lands Warwick, hence the countess's chantry came to be called the 
aud chattel* of Sir Hugh Daudele, the son, and forejudged Warwick chantry or chapel. 

Pitz Hamon ; 


N.W. window of choir; over the Warwick Chantry. 

Robert, earl of Gloucester Hugh le Dispenser; 

son of Henry I. 

Gilbert de Clare, 
last earl of Gloucester. 

Gilbert de Clan; ; 

Lit ••■irl of Gloucester 

and Hertford. 


S.W. window of choir. 

William de la Zouofa ; Richard de Clare; 

2nd earl of Gloucester 
and Hertford. 

Gilbert de Clare, the Red earl- 

8rd earl of Gloucester 

and Hertford. 



Mortimer of Wigmore (who died 1303). During the Dispensers' lifetime d'Audley and Margaret 
were in opposition and disgrace. 1 Hugh stoutly resisted Dispenser attacks in the west, refusing to 
surrender the land and castles in Glamorgan even to the king, declaring he held only in pui party 
of his wife. 2 He was forfeited anil his estates taken over by the king in 1321, 3 and when the 
Dispensers returned to power in 1322 after Boron ghbridge, d'Audley was arrested. He only escaped 
with his life thanks to the urgent entreaties of his wife, who as sister-in-law of the younger 
Dispenser was able to save him from the fate of Thomas of Lancaster who was beheaded, or of 
Bartholomew de Badlesmere, John Mowbray and Roger de Clifford, who with many others were 
hanged. Hugh was, however, closely shut up, and a Hereford merchant was heavily fined for having 
had communication with him, 4 while Margaret herself was sent under escort of " two yeomen and a 
damsel " to the priory of Sempringharn, there to be strictly interned and not allowed outside the 
gate. In 1325 d'Audley was still in prison at Berkhamstead and then Nottingham. 8 He had, 
however, escaped from Nottingham early in 1327, 7 for which trespass he received pardon on 
March 2nd, and no doubt the fall of the Dispensers and Edward II. 's death saved him. His lands 
were restored by Act of Parliament in 1328, 8 and even before that he was in possession of 
Blechingley where, as lord and patron in right of his wife, he presented Peter de St. John, who was 
instituted on December 21st, 1327. His later life under Edward III. was prosperous, and the 
earldom of Gloucester was called out of abeyance in his favour in 1337, 9 when it may be noted that, 
like Monthermer, he sealed with the de Clare chevrons. 10 There was, however, no son to succeed to 
the title, and in the autumn of 1343 immediately after Margaret's death, Hugh, by licence, settled 
all her share of the de Clare estates on their only child Margaret, who was already wife of Ralph, 
baron (and later earl of) Stafford, 11 with whom she is said (on no sufficient grounds) to have made a 
runaway match. Hugh survived his wife four years, dying on November 10th, 1347, when 
Blechingley passed to Ralph and Margaret Stafford, in whose family it continued for another six 
generations ; and their great grandson was first duke of Buckingham. 

It was, however, Elizabeth, the youngest of the three sisters, who took in her purparty the 
Honour of Clare, with the eponymous stronghold of the race, who did most of all of them to hand 
down the recollection of their famous name. 

Married in 1308 to John de Burgh, son and heir of the earl of Ulster, the day after her brother 
Gilbert married his sister Matilda, she was in a few years left a widow with one young son William, 
afterwards third earl of Ulster. In 1312 she was married to Theobald de Verdun, lord of the manor 
of Stoke on Tern in Shropshire and of lands in Staffordshire and Ireland. The marriage was made 
without leave of the king, who was much incensed ; he sequestrated Stoke in consequence, and it 
remained in the hands of the crown until 1330, when it was handed over to the four daughters and 
co-heiresses of Theobald. 12 Elizabeth had dowry of his lands in Ireland, 13 Leicester and Buckingham- 
shire. She was a widow in or before August 1316, when a grant of the eldest daughter Joan's 
marriage was given to William de Montagu. 14 Roger d'Amory (then generally spelt Dammory) had 

1 C. R., March 30, 1321 (365, etc.). 

2 C. R., Sept. 25 and Nov. 28, 1321 (402, 408). 

3 P. R., April 2 and May 21, 1321 (572, 583). 

4 P. R , Jan. 15, 1322, and Feb. 14 (62, 65). 

5 C. R., May 2, 1322 (440). 6 C. R., Oct. 1325 (418). 
i P. R., April 20, 1327, and March 2, 1327 (31 and 69). 

8 C. R., March 3, 1328 (266). 

9 P. R., March 17, 1337 (414). Recites that the earldom 
was granted " at the last Parliament held at Westminster," 
and further grants him Oakham town and castle and the 
shrievalty of Rutland for life. Doyle gives March 16, 1337, 
as date of earldom. 

10 Cf. Seals, by W. de G. Birch, pi. xxi., 6. 

11 P. R., Nov. 29, 1343 (140). 

12 C. R., July 28, 1330 (53). From C. R., Sept. 28, 1336 
(715), it appears that Theobald de Verdun's four daughters 
were: Joan (d. before 1336), mar. Thomas de Furnyvall; 
Elizabeth, mar. Bartholomew de Burghesh ; Marjory, mar. 1, 
William le Blount (d. 1337), 2, John de Crophull ; Isabella, 
mar. Henry Lord Ferrers of Groby. They were all by a 
previous wife except Isabella, a posthumous daughter of 

13 C. R., Sept. 18, 1332 (493). 

14 P. R., Aug. 20, 1316 (535). 



some grant of Theobald's lauds, but surrendered them to Queen Isabella in 1S17. 1 However, Roger 
apparently wanted the lady as well as the lands and became Elizabeth's third husband in 1318. 
With his brother-in-law Hugh d'Audley, d'Aruory was in violent conflict with the Dispensers ; he 
and d'Audley seized and burnt the town of Bridgenorth in Shropshire in January 1322, when a 
general levy was proclaimed against them. D'Amory was hard pressed in the fighting which 
followed, severely wounded, and died later that year. 2 Elizabeth was thus left a widow for the third 
time at the age of twenty-nine ; she never married again, but living chiefly at Clare was commonly 
known as the Lady of Clare, Domina Clarae. 3 At the end of 1333 she had an indulgence for a 
portable altar, and to have masses and services celebrated in chapels and oratories where she might 
be, and in 1343 she had papal leave to choose her own confessor in order to be absolved from the 
vow made "in her husband's lifetime to visit the Holy Land and Santiago, which being forty 
(she was actually 49) she cannot hope to fulfil " ; some other work of piety was therefore to be 
performed by her. 4 This she certainly carried out when, in 1347, she founded Clare Hall (now 
Clare College) at Cambridge. In April 1360 she was strengthening defences at her manors of 
Great Bardfield and Clarette, and collecting men and stores at Clare castle under Thomas le 
Butiller, owing to pressing fear of invasion, 5 but this is the last notice found of her before her death 
on November 4th that year 6 at the age of 66, perhaps the longest life of any recorded de Clare except 
earl Roger. Her son William de Burgh had succeeded his grandfather as third earl of Ulster, but 
was killed in Ireland in 1331, leaving an only daughter Elizabeth, who was married to Lionel, son 
of Edward III. He was created Duke of Clarence by his father, and that echo of the great name 
of Clare has been a royal title ever since, while the Honour of Clare, descending in the direct line 
to Edward IV. is still a royal appanage and preserves its court and steward to this day. 

1 P. R., Deo. 27, 1317 (66). 5 C. E., April 16, 1360 (19). 

2 C. R., Nov. 2, 1322 (603). 3 See above, pp. 47-8. 6 She was dead before Nov. 10, C. R., 1360 (79), and 
4 Pap. Reg., Dec. 16, 1333 (410) ; and ibid., Pet. I., 23. D.N.B. says Nov. 4. 

Avignon, Oct. 22, 1343 (22-23). 


Statuette of the last earl Gilbert de Clare, holding an inverted torch. 
{From a water-colour sketch in the possession of Mr. Bannister, sacristan of Tewkesbury Abbey) 



Sir Nicholas deserves notice though he cannot be placed iu the pedigree with certainty. He was possibly 
a grandson of either William de Clare (1228 — 58) poisoned by de Scottenay, or of his brother Gilbert (born 
1229), whom the abbot of Tewkesbury wished to make vicar of Marlow as a child. Sir Nicholas long survived 
his young chief's untimely death and had the earl's manor of Campden in Chipping Campden (Gloucs.) com- 
mitted to him after Bannockburn. In April 1324 he was in prison at Windsor castle "for adherence to the 
rebels," being presumably like d'Audley in arms against the Dispensers, but he was bailed out by Master 
liichard de Clare and another clerk for trial at Easter, when he succeeded in saving his lands and life by a fine 
of £100 [C. R., April 3 and May 24, 1324 (90, 108)]. 

In 1327 he is found complaining of robbery of live stock and goods from his manor of Perthir, co. Hereford 
(now in Monmouthshire) [P. R., March 12, 1327 (86)], while in 1343 he granted to Simon and Alice Dolsely 
houses, shops and gardens in the parish of St. Mary Woolchurch Haw, of which he had been enfeoffed by earl 
Gilbert [C. R., July 15, 1343 (135). Simon Dolsely or Dolcelle was Lord Mayor in 1360]. Either he, or a son, 
also Sir Nicholas, held an estate near Monmouth by knight's serviee under Henry duke of Lancaster (1299 — 
1361), which was held by the widow Joanna (family unknown) at the duke's death in 1361 [Journ. Brit. 
Arch. Assoc, XVT1I. (1862), 373-4]. "Ser Nicholas Clare " is given by Leland in a list of persons buried in 
the church of the Black Friars at Hereford [Leland, II., 67], but without any date or details, and whether this 
was the knight of the Dunstable tournament in 1308 or no, it seems probable that his descendants survived for 
many generations. A Nicholas Clare at the end of the fifteenth century married Margaret Rice, who through 
her grandmother Joan d'Abitot brought the manor of Croome d'Abitot in Worcestershire to her son Gilbert 
Clare in 1531, the d'Abitots having held Croome since the middle of the twelfth century [V. C. H, Worcs., 
III., 313-4] ; and Simon Clare, son of Gilbert, had a grant of arms from William Harvey, Clarenceux, in 1562, 
as " lineally descended from Gilbert de Clare." The herald would hardly speak of a man as " lineally 
descended from " his own father, while had he meant Gilbert, 1st earl of Gloucester and Hertford (d. 1230) 
he would surely have styled him earl. It looks therefore as if the Gilbert already suggested (son of the earl 
just named and born in 1229) was direct ancestor both of Sir Nicholas of 1308 and 1343 and of Simon of 1562. 
The arms granted moreover were exactly those borne by Sir Nicholas at Dunstable — the de Clare coat within 
a bordure engrailed sable [V. C. H, Worcs., III., 314, gives the bordure azure; but this is clearly an error 
as Harl. MS. 1566, 130, gives it sable]. Simon's son Erancis sold Croome to Thomas Coventry (ancestor of 
the earls of Coventry) in 1592, but he left a son and heir, Bafe Clare, who was made a Knight of the Bath at 
the coronation in 1625, and was a staunch supporter of the king, for whom he fought at Worcester and suffered 
imprisonment and loss of lands. Sir Rafe died childless iu 1670, but his younger brother Erancis and then his 
son, also Erancis, inherited from him the manor of Caldwali in Kidderminster. This the family continued to 
hold for another century until in 1777 Anthony Deane, nephew of Erancis Clare of lleuwick in Hallow, sold to 
two brothers Jefferies [V. C. H, Worcester, III., 170; cf. D.N.B., Sir Ralph Clare (15S7— 1670) ], from which 
it would seem that the male line was extinct iu Worcestershire, and with it the latest scion of the illustrious 
Normau stock. 

One other member of the family who cannot be placed in th8 pedigree may here be noticed, viz., " James 
de Clare, knight, and brother of the order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem," who " for the sincere love 
which he bears to the king eoming from remote parts to receive the order of knighthood " was to be shewn 
favour by the Master of the Hospital and the Commendators of Rhodes and Cyprus in 1339 [P. R., Jan. 18, 
1339 (378)]. He sounds like a worthy member of the noble family, and it will be remembered that a James de 
Clare has twice before occurred — one born iu 1169 and one who died in 1259, but no more has been found of 
the Knight Hospitaller. 

u 2 



I. — Early Deeds and Notices. An early Thirteenth Century List of Householders 


After Domesday Book the earliest mention found of Blechingley is in the charters of the Cluniac 
Priory of St. Pancras at Lewes founded hy William de Warenne in 1077. An ancient copy of 
Stephen's charter confirming all previous grants to this abhey is preserved in the Collection de 
Bourgoyne in the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris, 1 but it is unfortunately very inconclusive. 
Among a long list of lands, largely in Sussex, but scattered about the country, it recites — 

" near Grenesteda (East Grinstead) the land of Fodtbruge (Felbridge) which William de Donuio Martino 
gave the church of Burestou (Bursfcow) with its lands and tithes near Blechingley the land called 
Gruteners which Richard fitzGilbert (i.e., Richard who died in 1136, grandson of Richard de Tonbridge) 
gave and the tithe of Gilbert de Curtuna which he gave next Haslo (Hadlow in Kent) the tithe of 
Geoffrey de Balliol," etc., etc. 

Thus rendered, without punctuation as in the original, it is doubtful whether Blechingley is 
thrown in to identify the position of Bnrstow or Gruteners. Since Grinstead must refer to 
Felbridge, the latter seems the more probable, but whether Gruteners was in the parish is, even so, 
doubtful. No doubt the building of the stone castle in Stephen's day made Blechingley famous in 
the country side and it grew in importance with the power of the de Clares. 

The grant of the advowson of Blechingley by Roger de Clare, second earl of Hertford (d. 1173) is 
the next deed in point of date, though preserved only in a fifteenth century copy. It is transcribed 
and dealt with in Chapter X., but here it must be noticed that it also granted " a croft lying on the 
south side of the church," which clearly implies an enclosure where the broad high street now runs, 
the oldest street and probably once the only one, being on the north side of Middle Row. The 
same deed granted pannage for 150 pigs either in the woodland of " Blaching' " or " Thunebr' " 
(Tunbridge) at the monks' choice, and further states that " for this gift the monks quit claim the 
land of Gretenerse which my father had given them in expectation of the advowson being set free " 
(in expectoiione lib'ac'onis eccVie). Here again the elusive Gruteners or Greteners is not located. 

1201. The twelfth century affords no other Blechingley deed, but in John's reign the 
Great Pipe Roll for 1201-2, under "Forest pleas by H. de Nevill," records in the account of 
Robert de Turneham and John Chaper for Surrey that " The sheriff renders account of one mark 
from the township (villat') of Blachingeleg' "; which would very likely be a fine for some trespass. 
The use of the word villata suggests that the vill had not yet attained to the status of a borough ; 
however, in 1296 the word villata occurs in the manorial extent where borough must clearly be 
meant, so that it is not wise to build too much on the word in such connection meaning more than 
the "commune " or " the parish," as we should say; indeed villata is often followed by a verb in 
the plural. 2 

There is no record of when "burgality " (to borrow Professor Maitlaud's useful coinage) was 
conferred. Probably if the industry of fulling cloth had been carried on from early days there 
would be more weaving done than for mere home consumption, and this again would attract 

1 Cal. of Doo. in France, ed. J. H. Round (1890), 1391, p. 510. Of. also Sir O. Duokett, Charters of Abbey of Chlni, I., 71, 
uii'l Suss. A. C, XL., 58—78. s Pollock aud Maitland, Ilist. of Eng. Law, I., 629. 


neighbours to the growing township. It may well be supposed that Eichard de Clare, who got his 
closed market at Rothwell reopened in 1207 by making king John the present of a saddle horse, 1 
would find no difficulty in getting a market granted him at Blechingley on some such terms. This 
would be a most important step in the history of the vill, since, in order to prevent the sale of stolen 
goods, it was only in a duly constituted market that buying and selling might legally be carried 
on. 2 But though there must have been (it would seem) a now lost royal grant for a market, there 
was never any charter for the borough. Blechingley was a "mesne" (Norman mesne means 
medianus, middle) borough; i.e., it was never incoiporated by royal charter so as later to have a 
mayor and common council and arms of its own, but was given its status as a borough by its own 
lord, who held the vill as tenant- in-chief of the king, and conferred, as though by delegation, new 
rights and duties upon his ancient demesne. Perhaps the occasional conferring of knighthood by 
great lords {e.g., by earl Richard de Clare in 1240 and by Simon de Montfort before the battle of 
Lewes) may be considered somewhat parallel instances of this exercise of quasi-royal authority ; 
though in the case of knighthood there is no suggestion of any pecuniary advantage accruing to the 
grantor, whereas the raising of a prosperous vill to burgal status was more than possibly prompted 
by the desire to commute services for cash, and to collect higher rents. 

1225. In any case Blechingley had, by the action either of Richard the Charter lord (d. 1217) 
or of his son earl Gilbert (d. 1230), become a mesne borough some years before the latter's 
death. For in the assize rolls for the year 1 225-6 3 occurs this entry, which is worth verbatim 
transcription : — 


Gaufr Textor rectatus est de latrocinio. 
de Hundredo de Tenreuge. 

[an entry referring to Titsey follows] 
Et Gaufr' Textor qui mauens fuit in burgo de Blechingele manet in sup'iori tra de Blechingele ext' 
[et "Will de Warewic qui 4 ] Burgu ponit se sup p'tria. 

Et Vital de Warlingekam qui manet in tra Prioris de Beremundes 
Hundred de Kyngeston. 


Geoffrey Textor (i.e., Weaver) is accused of theft. 
Hundred of Tandridge. 

[entry about Titsey] 
And Geoffrey Textor who was staying in the borough of Blechingley stays on the higher ground 
[and William of Warewic who 4 ] of Blechingley outside the borough puts himself on the country 

(i.e., appeals for a jury). 
And Vitalis of Warlingham who stays on the land of the Prior of Beremundes 
Hundred of Kingston. 

It is a good instance of the haphazard way these entries were kept. The Blechingley entry is 
begun out of place, and then, after the heading of the hundred and a much altered entry for Titsey, 
it is begun again with the wrong name of the defendant, while the Warlingham entry tails off into 
silence and the next line begins with Kingston Hundred. 

But it is a very interesting record, firstly, as the earliest known mention of Blechingley as a 
borough, and secondly, in the names recorded. Geoffrey Weaver gives plausibility to the suggestion 
just made that besides the fulling industry, more weaving was done in the town than for the clothes 

1 See p. 51. s Assize Rolls, 863, m. 5. 

3 D. B. and B. ; 192— i, Borough an.! market. * These words are crossed through in original. 


of the inhabitants ; while the wrongly entered name of William de Warewic, who apparently was 
not a thief, supplies a much wanted clue to the place name of Warwick wood "on the higher ground 
of Blechingley outside the borough." How the clerk came by Warwick's name can only be guessed, 
but it suggests that Warwick was harbouring Weaver among the quarries and rough woodlands at 
the north-western corner of the parish. 1 

An undated grant of Gilbert de Clare earl of Gloucester and Hertford conveys to Master John 
Cementar' (Cementarius the plasterer or mason — perhaps ancestor of the Daber or Dawber family) 2 of 
Blascingel', all the land there given hiin by Gilbert's father Richard, late earl of Hertford, and 
further the two burgages granted to him by Richard Walencis (the Welshman) and Hereward the 
baker in the said town, at a yearly rent of one shilling to be paid, 3d. quarterly, to the lord. 3 The 
burgages represent the new freehold tenure introduced with the " burgality." They would be held 
at a fixed money rent and be securely heritable. 4 

This deed was probably executed in Brittany on the fatal campaign which saw Gilbert's death 
at Penros in 1230, and the witnesses' names supply some record of the war services of de Clare 

Richard de Vehym, the first of them, is probably the Welsh name Yaughan, unless it obscures 
a French place name. 

The next two were the brothers John and Gilbert de Wauton, John being the de Clare tenant 
of Walton-on-the-hill, whose widow Roger de Clare married, and of whose children he failed to 
keep the wardship. 5 

Hamo de Wathevill (or Watevile) was tenant, as his ancestors had been since 1086, of the 
de Clares in Maiden and Farley ; and in the former manor Richard de Vilbidon (the next witness), 
called in English Vabadon, impleaded de Watevile about his three knight's fees there in 1225. G 
De Vabadun was, moreover, tenant of Hatcham in Camberwell, 7 which itself was Gloucester 
property and had lately fallen to the inheritance of earl Gilbert by his mother Amice's death in 
1225. 8 De Vabadon died about 1260. 

Thomas of Evreux stands next ; probably a Frenchman, a kinsman perhaps of Almaric count 
of Evreux who married Amice's sister Mabel, and having but one son who died without issue, left 
Amice sole heiress of the Gloucester title. 

Michael de Fossa is unknown, but came perhaps from some such " moated grange " as Burstow 

Richard de Lade, more usually de la Lade, was the escheator who took over the de Clare lands 
in 1234 on de Burgh's disgrace. His name ceases to appear in the Patent Rolls after 1243, when he 
probably died. 

The last witness John de Imworth was a de Clare tenant at Chelsham le Holt, where he gave 
land to the Priory of Tunbridge and had litigation with the de Wateviles in 1232.° It was his 
service to cense the body of earl Richard the charter lord (d. 1217). lu 

This deed still keeps its seal with the impress as clear as when the wax first cooled. The 
shield is suspended in the usual way by the strap or " enaruie," of which a rose marks the hanging 
point. Well executed tabernacle work surrounds it with the Arabic figures quite clearly in the 
dexter spandrel 13 . ., the other side unfortunately being broken away ; the cognizance is a 
chevron between two cross-crosslets fitche; the tinctures are not shewn, and the arms have not 

1 V. G. II , IV., 255, rather inaccurately quotes this entry ' V. C. II. however appears to include it in Deptford 
as " a malefactor dwelling in the borough of Blechingley." St. Paul, IV., 42. 

2 S*e Chapter V. s See p. 54. 

3 13. M., Add. MS. 21,547. ,J V. 0. II., IV., 272, and note. Later the dc Watevile 
A 1). 11. and B., 198. heiress married Reginald de Imworth. V. C. H., III., 449 ; 

5 Further about the do Waltons, see pp. 66-7. G. It., 1232 (127). 

6 V. C. U., III., 523; IV., 282. >" See p. 58. 



been identified. 1 The grant shews again how the de Clare interests on the Marches had brought 
Welshmen to Blechingley; also perhaps it indicates the wealth and importance of the master 
mason or plasterer when the new borough was growing- in size. 

In 1229 a conveyance by William de Garston of 2J, hydes in Blechingeleg' to the Prior of 
Rochester evidences the early wealth and iinpoitance of* the owners of Garstone, and is noticed in 
the account of that holding. 

In 1229 also, on the Friday after St. Lucy's day (December 13th), Reginald and Edith de 
Preston were parties to a fine with one Robert Hampton, called in to warrant by Richard and Alice 
Greiburgeis, about 38 acres of land in Totinton (Toddington near Arundel). In exchange for this 
land Robert conveyed to them and their heirs 4 acres — 

"to wit 2 acres of the same land which were called Belacre and | acre in north Blechingleg' towards the 
south and | acre in south Blechingley towards the west and -J- acre in T . . . . glegh towards the east and 
| acre iu Sciplende towards the west" 

at a yearly rent of &\d. to be paid at Michaelmas. 2 The name Belacre suggests that this land was 
already burdened with the charge for providing bell ropes, and was the same as the Bellcroft still 
so charged in 1545, which was later Clerk's Croft, and is now part of the Guardians' Institution. 3 

In 1233 a Blechingley man came by a violent death, for Yfilliam of Berkhamstead, then in the 
prison of the Abbot of Westminster accused of the death of Eustace of Blechingley, was granted 
bail if he could find twelve " honest and lawful " men of his county (probos et legales homines, the 
" prud' homme " of Norman French). William was probably one of Richard of Cornwall's men, 
for Cornwall had in 1231 married young Richard de Clare's lately widowed mother, who herself died 
at her second husband's castle of Berkhamstead in 1239. 

The first notice of the earl's park occurs in 1233. There can be little doubt that the North 
Park was the first to be enclosed, probably by one of the earliest of the de Clares, when the 
southern end of Blechingley was still too thickly covered with timber and the wild tangle of the 
weald to afford much sport hunting. There is no deed by which such an enclosure can be dated, 
but this earliest notice is as follows : 4 — 

De damis datis. Mandatum est Petro de Rivall', thesaurario regis quod in parco de Blechingel' qui 
fuit comitis Glouc', faciat habere Rogero de Clare X damas et II damos ad quendam parcum euum 
instaurandum, de dono regis. Teste rege apud Otteford, xxv die March. Per ipsum regem. 

" A gift of deer. Order issued to Peter de Rievaulx, king's treasurer, to let Roger de Clare have in 
Blechingley park, lately belonging to the earl of Gloucester, ten hinds and two stags as a gift 
from the king to start (or stock) a park of his own. Witness the king at Otford (Kent), 25th March. 
By the king himself." 

The king then had the de Clare lands in hand owing to Richard's minority. His gift is 
conclusive evidence of the existence of the park previous to 1233, and is strong presumptive 
evidence that one park only existed, or the order would have specified in which park the deer were 
to be taken; unfortunately it says nothing as to where Roger's new park was. But it is not 
unlikely that if Roger was more or less looking after the Blechingley property for his young kinsman, 5 

1 This seal is a puzzle, and it must be supposed that on 
some re-inspection the deed was sealed anew. Manning dates 
the deed (of which he gives a facsimile) as about 1230, and 
the description of the grantor's father as Eichard earl of 
Hertford (not Gloucester and Hertford) makes the date quite 
certain as being between 1225, when the earldom of Gloucester 
was added, and 1230 when the grantor died. But the employ- 
ment of Arabic figures suggests an even later date than 
fourteenth century for the seal. 

2 Suss. Eec. Soc., Vol. II. Fines 246 (p. 67), 1229. 

3 For further about this see under Belacre, Belcroft and 
Beltoft in field names, Chapter XIV. 

4 C. E., March 25, 1233 (204). 

5 Boger was probably second or third son of earl Eoger 
(d. 1173) and Maud or Matilda (nee St. Hilary). He would 
thus be great-uncle to young Eichard; he died in or before 
1241, aged well over 60— a good ago in those short-lived 
days. See de Clare pedigree. 


lie enclosed the larger South. Park at this date to provide immediate sport for himself and for 
Richard, then barely 10 years old, in the future. In any case the South Park was enclosed before 
1262, for the inquest on Richard's death in that year speaks of two parks. 

The royal grant to the Blechingley hermit Brother Roger, also in 1233, is noticed in the 
account of the church, but in connection with it must be recorded an interesting though 
unfortunately undated deed early in Henry IIL's reign. 1 By this William le Thnme granted 
to William Faber (i.e., Smith), for his homage and service, one acre of land in Blachingeleia 
called Heremites Aker, lying lengthwise east and west between the land of William de Bullacfeld 
and a field called Brodefeld and in breadth from William de Bullacfeld's land on the south to 
Walter Dabernon's land on the north. For this Faber paid lis. "in gersuma" (earnest money, like 
a fine to ratify the bargain) and a yearly rent of 4d. It suggests that the endowment of the hermit 
had lapsed and the land returned to secular uses. 

Soon after this Walter de Abernun granted 1 to the same William, described as son of Eillard 
Faber, another acre adjoining le Thume's grant. This second acre was bounded by de Bullocfeld's 
land on the west and by d'Abernoun's land and the field called Brodfeld (incipient' ex pte orientali 
a Vra mea et campo q. voc Brodfeld) on the east, which reads as though Brodfeld was a common 
field, in which Faber was thus putting strips together. For this acre Faber paid 10s. "in gersuma" 
and also 6d. to Matilda, d'Abernon's wife, the payment to her being no doubt in order to bar claim 
for dower or other lien she might have on it. The witnesses' names are almost the same as in 
Le Thume's grant, and no doubt the date was only a year or two later. The earlier of these two 
deeds has been endorsed "Hevoris" in a fourteenth or fifteenth century hand, and there seems little 
doubt that the land in question lay within the hilly field on Town farm still called Hevers. But 
if so, the Brodefeld could not have extended over any large acreage without being cut by the hanging 
hill of Bewell's wood and Michenall's bank. 

Walter Dabernon made another grant ' to John le Blund of 

" one part of my land in Bleccingeleye lying between the road leading to Broderuden and the land of 
Arnold le Cancelar of which one end extends over the said road and the other over Laybroc to hold of me 
and my heirs and give or sell to whom he will except a religious house " {salva domo religionis) ; 

John paid 4s. in gersuma and three halfpence yearly at Midsummer, Michaelmas and Easter. No 
acreage is given, but the Broderuden, i.e., the wide clearing, might well be the high ground of Town 
farm near the Fever Hospital, " assarted " or broken up for cornland since Domesday times ; the 
road to it, the old Michenall's lane ; and the Laybrook, i.e., the brook of the lay or ley, the meadow 
or leigh of Bleching, the now underground flow from the Township pond on Hevers northwards 
down Town meadow to Funk's bridge by the Plough Inn (land which has already been suggested as 
some of the water meadow of Domesday Book). Thus this grant of Dabernon would stretch from 
somewhere opposite the Tower House (Lord's field) over this Laybrook and along the Michenall's 
lane to include the long Scrouches of the Tithe map north of the lane and the Upper Bewells on 
its south. That this is approximately right seems borne out by two other Barrow Green deeds both 
dated Sunday February 6th, 1375, by which John Isemonger granted a croft purchased from John 
Brampton, and John Brampton quitclaimed it, to Henry atte Helde. The croft lay between John 
Bodisham's land on the south and land late of John Scroucher on the north, and the lane leading 
from Scrouchis on the west as set out by metes and bounds. In this case the land must almost 
certainly be part of the Long Scrouches of the Tithe map on Town farm, the lane on the west being 
to-day represented by the footpath from Whitepost to Michenall's lane, while Henry atte Helde 
(i.e., at the Hill) might well be an alias of Henry Michenhale, who was then living at Blechingley, 

1 Among the deeds of C. H. Master, Esq., J.P., D.L., of Barrow Green, lord of the manor of Oited. 







4-* M72ff43 

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a ta 

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doubtless at the foot of the steep Michenall's bank where Michenall's farm house stood till the 
eighteenth century. The fact of these two charters being among the Barrow Green deeds is in itself 
proof that they refer to some of the same land as the earlier charters, while the double identification 
of Heavers and Scrouches on Town farm, which became Hoskins' property in Elizabethan days, 
fixes the locality beyond reasonable doubt. Scrouches doubtless stands for S. Crouch, the Holy 
Cross roads, now called Whitepost, but once known as St. Catherine's cross, where an image of the 
saint or a crucifix probably stood. 

As to dates, the grant of Le Thume to William Faber was probably about 1220 — 30. 1 Walter 
d'Abernon was a considerable landowner in Blechingley and his name will occur later in connection 
with Pendell. He was one of four brothers, William, Richard, Ingram and Walter, all living in 
1205 ; but Walter's only son and heir Ingram died without issue in 1235, when his kinsman Jordan 
was his heir. From this it seems that Walter was then dead, so that the three grants of Le Thume 
and Walter may with confidence be pronounced prior to 1235. Jordan ceded his claims to his uncle 
Gilbert, who Avas probabty first cousin to Ingram ; and this Gilbert 2 was father of John, who died 
in 1277, and has been made famous by the fine brass to his memory at Stoke D'Abernon. Stoke 
was one of Richard de Tollbridge's Surrey manors, and the d'Abernons, who bore azure a chevron 
or, doubtless in imitation of the de Clare chevrons, had held under Richard at West Molesey in 
1086. 3 It is not surprising therefore to find a d'Abernon as an important holder in the chief Surrey 
manor of the earl of Hertford ; but as will be seen Walter got rid of all his Blechingley land and 
a hundred years later his tenure and name had been forgotten. 

Among the witnesses to these deeds were William and Adam de Gerstun or de la Garstang 
(both forms appear), William Venator, John de Stangrave, Robert Cook (the grantee probably in 
old age of Joan de Stangrave in 1251), Robert Isemonger (ironmonger), Randolph Portireve (the 
borough bailiff), William Sarp (Sharp), William de Warewic (whose name appeared in the 1225 
Assize Roll), Robert le Vine, Richard and Eustace Crolling, and Roger de Home (who was a juror, 
or more probably father to the juror in the 1262 inquest on earl Richard's death). All these names 
agree well with the deeds being in the first quarter of the thirteenth century, while the provision 
in d'Abernon's second deed against alienation to a religious house (salva domo religionis) points 
rather to a date previous to the statute of Mortmain (1279) than, as might be thought, to one 
subsequent to it, though it is not in itself conclusive. 4 The seal on several of these deeds shews 
a bearded head lying in a cup with the legend Caput Johis in Disco, St. John Baptist's head in 
a charger, which was a favourite subject in inedieeval art for seals and domestic ornament as well 
as for sculpture and painting. 5 

Some other land not far off is also dealt with by three other Barrow Green deeds, all of which 
have been endorsed " Goldeneys." Firstly by an undated deed, late perhaps in Henry III.'s reign, 
Richard Forestar (the same or probably son of the witness to d'Abernon's grant) granted to Walter 
le Vine (son or brother of Robert, witness to the same grant), 

" with the assent of my wife Basild, all that land lying between the land of G'olde, late wife of William le 
Flemeng, and the land of Philip Giffard, extending from the road leading from Blechingel towards Home 
as far as the laud called Goldedene, to hold freely to him and his heirs." 

Walter paid one mark "in gersuma " and lid. a year half yearly at Christmas and midsummer for 

1 Mr. Gilson, Keeper of MSS. and Egerton librarian at fee in "Arse" and land at "Teinton." (Cf. V. C. H., III., 

the British Museum, who kindly examined these charters, 73.) 
pronounced of le Thume's, "John not impossible, but early 3 V. C. H., III., 458. 

Henry III. more probable." * Information from Mr. Gilson. If the law forbad 

: Gilbert by an undated deed (B.M., Add. Ch. 5562) acquisition by the church the clause would not be needed, 
granted the manor and advowson of Albury to Joan, widow of 6 Sir W. St. John Hope in Archseologia, LI I. (1890), 

Ingeram d'Abernon iu satisfaction of dower, with half knight's 675, teg. 



all service and secular demands. The witnesses named were Uominus John Haunsard (possibly 
a rector of Blechingley before Adam de Blechingley), 1 John de la Gerstune, Stephen Hagenild, 
Miles the Carter, William Ellegh, Barth. Mercator, William Otewy and Aelmar the fisherman. 
Le Flemeng was no doubt one of the Flemish immigrants not uncommon about this time when 
the wool trade was assuming importance ; his wife's name, G'olde, would be Gisolda, and has no 
connection with the name of the land Goldedene. 

Bj r the second deed Walter le Vine's son Richard some years later (but again the deed is 
undated) granted this same land to "Robert, clerk, of Bleching," for his service and a yearly rent 
of 12cZ. to be paid half yearly to the lords of the fief and " a rose to me and my heirs at midsummer 
for all services whatsoever." This grant, for which Robert paid four marks, was as free as it could 
be made, with right to give, sell, assign or bequeath to whom he would. The witnesses' names are 
John and Juel de Garston, Richard de Home (the younger presumably), William Walys, Robert le 
Vine, Lawrence Pistor (Baker), William son of Heustace (probably Eustace de Wolcnestede), 
Robert de Aula (? the earl's marshall of the hall), Nicholas de Chevinton, Roger le Moygne (M.P. 
in 1302), John de Sornham,- and Stephen le Pistor, and the writing suggests it was still in 
Henry lll.'s reign. The price, however, is remarkable, for while the lit?, rent reserved to the 
vendor in the first deed has become Is. to be paid direct to the lords, the sale price has sprung from 
one mark to four. 

The third deed endorsed " Goldeneys " is also undated. By it Richard Forestar, again with 
Basild's consent, granted to Philip Giffard for one mark " in gersuma " and a } r early rent of 1 Id. 
paid cpiarterly for all services, etc., 

"all that land lying in width between the road leading from Blechingel' to Home and the laud called 
Goldedene, and stretching in length from the fee once of Odo de Dammartin up to Walter le Vine's laud 
which he holds of me of the same holding; and further a certain part of land lying in breadth between 
the land of William Gabet and that of Philip which once belonged to Wille-with-the-fet and in length 
from John le Hare's land up to Balph le Belde's house, for a yearly lent of one penny." 

The witnesses to this were John de la Garstone, Eustace de Wolkenstede, Walter le Vine, 
Stephen and John Fresne (frensne=frene, ash), Milo the Carter, John de Thornham, Barth. 
Mercator (i.e., the merchant), Aelmar Piscator (Fisher), William le Thume, and Richard de 
Thonwyke, and it would seem that this grant followed very few years after the preceding one. 

These three deeds all deal with the same parcel of land lying between the Blechingley-Horne 
road (the Outwood lane) and " Goldedene," which was evidently the same as the Goldesdene or 
Goldisdene of the Pendell rentals, so long held with Prestwell. In 1451 Thomas Aylowe held 
Goldisdene and Prestwell, and in 1495 Edward Sakvild held them. Prestwell is the Brick kiln land 
immediately west of the Fever Hospital, and Goldedene is clearly the sandy " dene " or hollow 
sloping southwards uphill from Whitepost, and now part of the seventy acre arable field of Town 
farm. From the Sackvilles Goldisdene (and in fact probably the whole of what was later Town 
farm) passed to the G a veils of Cobham, from whom Charles Hoskins (ancestor of Mr. Master) 
bought in 1580, and so Goldisdene, corrupted to Goldeneys in the indorsement, and the deeds 
relating to it, came to be among the Barrow Green papers. 

The fee of Odo de Dammartin (who was dead before 1229) had probably been sold by his 
heiress Alice, wife of John de Wauton and later of Roger de Clare (died 1241) ; and Alice was 
probably dead also or her name would have been given, so these deeds may be dated c. 1250. But 
the third deed evidently deals also with a second parcel of land, which may have been a long way 
off. None of the names Gabet, le Hare, le Belde nor Willy-with-the-Feet, whose name comes with 

1 John Haunsard died in 1275. 

'•' The " b " is quite clear (like that iu Stephen), but it is probably a mistake for a " T," as in the next deed. 


such a shock in a latin deed, occur in other Blechinglej deeds ; but le Hare suggests Hare lane, 
which forms the point or horn of Eorne parisb running up to the south-western end of Blindley 
Heath. Willy-with-the-Feet was no doubt, like " John Deerhouud's-nose," a nickname, probably 
from the large amount of land customarily covered by those useful members, but the place where- 
they mostly walked must be left doubtful. 

These early Barrow Green deeds point to the gradual laying together of land in more compact 
holdings, though whether they were strips in a common Held or already separate closes is not 

Another undated deed lias been preserved by which John de Chelesham granted to Richard, 
son of Richard the Forester, a messuage which he had of William the Fleming (Willelmus 
Flandrensis) in the town of Wolcnested and other lands in fee to hold of the grantor at a yearly 
rent of 3s. Richard paid 5 marks for this, and the witnesses were John de Wau'ton, Roland de 
Axstide, Manasser de Pecham, John de Tamesworth, Sampson de Axtede and Gregory his son, 
Roger de Home, William and Adam de la Garstone, Eustace de Wolcnested, Waller Dragun, 
Galfred de Campeworth and others. 

Roland de Axted (Oxted) the father died in 1240 and his son Roland in 1291, 1 while other 
names also repeat themselves in the neighbourhood. Both William de Garstone and Walter 
Dracun or Dragon appear as tenants in Godstone whose rents were conveyed in 1229 by John and 
Alice de Walton to Margaret, widow of Odo Dammartin, Alice's father ; but Walter Dragun, no 
doubt a son, witnessed a deed in 1288. John de Walton was dead and Alice married to Roger de 
Glare in 1232, but his elder son was also John de Walton, who came of age in 1244. 2 William 
de Garston was presumably dead when his son and heir John paid so high a price for two acres of 
land to earl Richard, and that undated grant was certainly between 1243 and 1202, 3 so perhaps 
1255 — 60 may be assigned as about the date of this deed. 

The seal attached shewed an " equestrian effigy to sinister, flat topped helm, horse not barded." 
Legend in Lombardic character : "siffill' Johannis de Chelesha." 1 

So John was a man of importance and more than possibly identical with the John de Watevile 
who granted Chilsham- Watevile to Walter de Coddestone in 1284. But the witnesses' names, it 
may be noted, will equally support a date prior to 1230 and the death of John de Walton. If this 
earlier date be correct the Richard le Forester of the next deed must have been the third of his 
name. On Thursday before Palm Sunday 1288 he granted to Walter de Ooddestone and his heirs 
land called Stanbrigglond in Wolknestede, lying in length along the king's highway whereby men 
go from Southbroke brigge between the domain of William de Winghel' (ram ?) on one side and 
the park of the lord of Wolknestede on the other, to hold to the said Walter and Emma his wife 
and their heirs at a yearly rent of 6d., with warranty against all men and women, both Jews and 
Christians. Walter and Emma paid 100s., and the witnesses were Walter Dragun, John de Flore 
(Flower Lane), John atte Garstone, Robert de Stanigrave, Robert le Botiler, Peter de Fraxino, 
William de Richescumbe, William atte Pende, Gregory atte Melle, Robert de Coddestone and 

Southbrook bridge — the Stratton bridge being over the Northbrook — was certainly that on the 
Roman road near where the new road forks north-eastwards to Godstone station ; the park was 
St. John's demesne round Lagham castle, while Stanbregg, lying along the road, is represented 
by the land called Stanstead to-day. But though the grant was thus wholly in Godstone, it will be 
noticed that at least three of the witnesses, de Garstone, de Stangrave and atte Pende, came from 
Blechingley, while the Botiler family held land in the parish, and Gregory very likely came from 

1 M. and B., II., 383. - See p. 67. exhibited by John Fetherston, Esq., F.S.A., of Packwood, 

3 See Garstone, Chapter VI., i. Surrey, to the Soc. of Antiquaries in 1870. Proceedings, 2nd 

4 This deed and the next one quoted were among eleven Series, Vol. IV., 81 — -i. 

x 2 


Ivy Mill. The seal has a device of " a fox (?) and a rabbit sitting on a mound with raised dots, 
representing probably a rabbit warren ; legend in Lcmbardic characters, S. Eicardi le Forester," 
as on the Barrow Green deeds ; so clearly Forster was a man of some position, and though not 
armigerous had a right of warren. 

In 1251 Joan de Stangrave settled 3 burgages or 13 acres of land in Blechingeleg' on Robert 
and Mabil Coke of Blechingeleg' for life, at the yearly rent of three quarters of oats to be paid 
half yearly. 1 The property on their death was to return to Joan and her heirs, and the settlement 
reads like a provision for an old retainer. It marks the early importance of the de Stangrave 
family, and it should be noted that both Garstone and the de Stangrave holdings lie in or just 
above the fertile vale extending from Godstone Green westwards. 

At this date Merton Priory held burgages worth Gs. yearly rent at Michaelmas in " Blescingel," 
as appears from their cartulary. 2 

An undated deed of this period deals with a very different part of the parish, and may possibly 
not be unconnected with the enclosure of the South Park. 3 By it William Venator (Le Venur) 
conveyed to 

" Roger, clerk, de la Loge, all that land called le Loscrofte in Blessinglee as it is enclosed round with 
water and ditches lying in length between the land of Roger de Hale and the land of Richard de Staple- 
hurst, and in breadth between the lands of Eadmund and of William de Hamme." 

This was on Ham farm, the adjoining holders' names being still preserved in Hale and Staplehurst 
farms, respectively east and west of Ham, which is itself an island in Nuffield parish. The 
" Lodge," which reads rather as the address of the clerk or priest Roger (who was perhaps only 
a trustee) than any part of his name (the Latin being Rog'o cVico de la Loge, not R. de la Loge cl'ico), 
is probably the moated house of Burstow Lodge, where Roger may have been chaplain to the 
lord. 4 Roger paid 12s. for the conveyance and was to pay Id. yearly at Easter. The witnesses are 
nearly all local men, viz., Adam de la Gerst' (i.e., Garstone), Roger de Horn (who held Effingham 
in 1296), Walter and Richard de Hedresham, John, Stephen and Gilbert de Hefre, 5 John de Bisse 
(Bysshe Court in Home), William Burll (? Burrill), Adam le Franceys, no doubt a foreigner, Walter 
de Hewrche (unknown), Henry de Holeche, which probably is the same as Holegh, i.e., Hooley, 
at Redhill. 

It has been already suggested that the Peter who held Ham under such favourable conditions 
in 1086 may have been huntsman to Richard de Tonbridge and ancestor of the important family of 
de Hamme. 6 If so, this William Venator might well be the member of the family who discharged 
the hereditary office of huntsman to the lord, and after the enclosure of the South Park sold his 
small dyked patrimony at Ham (the description of which reads as though the 180 acres were 
divided from east to west into three holdings between himself and his cousins (?) Eadmund and 
William de Hamme), in order to move somewhere closer to the new park and the deer under his 
charge (perhaps to the house still known as Venars when Henry Hexstall bought it in the last half 
of the fifteenth century). So this William's children would never be called de Ham, even if he 
himself had at first gone by that name until he acquired the new one of Venator, both from his office 
and to distinguish him from his cousin William de Ham. As surnames became more used the 
huntsman's descendants Avould naturally take that of Le Venur, i.e., Hunter, and in 1307 a John 
le Venur died leaving his son property of some importance in the manor, held by the appropriate 
service of a barbed arrow. 

1 Surr., 226, F. 14, and S. A. C, Fines, pp. 33, 397. Lodge to Eoger Salaman sou of Ralph in 1329. V. C. H., 

2 Merton Priory (Heales), App. LXVI., p. xl. III., 178. 

3 B. M., Add. MS. 9009. 5 John and Joan de llevor bought land in Bleehingley of 

4 Eoger son of Roger utte Logge conveyed Burstow Reginald de la Hamme in 1271, p. lu'8. 6 See pp. 3C-7. 


A settlement deed between John and Matilda de la Gar at on dated 1261 and an interesting 
grant from Richard de Clare to the same John about 1 250 — 60 are fully noticed in the account of 
Garston itself. 

Another undated deed 3 (perhaps about 1260) records the conveyance for four marks and a 
yearly rent of 2s. 2§d. by William de la Boure of Nuffield to John le Cope of Blessing-el' of land 
(extent not specified) which William had bought of John le Chapman of the vill of Burstowe, who 
held it of John de la Strete of Burstowe. This land lay in breadth east and west between the 
highway from Burstowe to Nuffield and the park of the archbishop of Canterbury (Burstow Park), 
and in length north and south between the land of Richard de la Malde and the road leading to the 
gate of the archbishop's park. The conveyance included all houses, and it would seem it must have 
been Henhaw farm in Nuffield, and that de la Malde probably held Doghurst or Doggetts, which 
lies partly in Blechingley and partly in Burstow. 

These meagre notices exhaust all that has been found about Blechingley property before the 
first of the series of inquests held on the demise of the successive earls ; but so many names have 
now danced before the reader's eye that it will not be amiss here to attempt a list of " Blechingley 
Householders " in the first half of the thirteenth century. 

A list of householders in Blechingley about 1230 — 50, compiled from contemporary deeds. 

le Blund, John. c 

De Bollocfeld, William. b 

De Bisse, John (Bysshe in Home). b 

le Cancelar, Arnold (the earl's chancellor). a 

Cementar, John (the mason or plasterer). a 

De Chart, Hugh. b 

De Chivinton, Thomas, Nicholas. b 

Cook, Robert and Mabil. a 

Crolling, Eustace and Robert his son. c 

Dabernon, Walter and Matilda. b 

„ Ingram (d. 1235). — 

Faber, Eillard and William, his son (Smith). a 

Forester, Richard. a 

le Fleming (Flandrensis), William and Gisolda. b 

De Garston, William and Adam : then John. b 

Giffard, Philip. c 

De Hamme, Edmund and William. b 

De Hever, John and Joan. b 

De Home, Richard. b 

Isemonger, Robert (the Ironmonger). a 

le Marchaunt (Mercator) Bartholomew (the trader). a 

Molendinarius Geoffrey (the miller). a 

Piscator, Aelmar (Fisher?). a 

Pistor, Herewai'd (Baker). a 

Pistor, Lawrence (Baker). a 

Portireve, Randolph (the borough bailiff). a 

Roger, the clerk. a 

Sarp (Sharp), Robert. c 

de Stangrave, John, William, Joan. b 

le Thume, William c 

Textor, Geoffrey (the weaver). a 

1 Chapter VI., i. 2 Among Mr. Clement Pain's deeds. 


le Walcis, "William, Walesa's, Richard" (Welshman). b 

De Warewic, William (Warwick wood). b 

Venator, William (the huntsman). a 

le Vine, Eobert (? vine-dresser). a 

"With-the-Fet, "Wille. c 

Such a list shews surnames in process of formation, and the 35 names fall naturally into three 
chief classes of origin : a — Trades or occupation (15) ; b — Places (1-1) ; c — Nicknames or personal 
characteristics (fi). Thus le Cancelar and Portireve were probably the actual office-bearers as 
secretary of the earl of Gloucester's household, and provost or bailiff of his mesne borough of 
Blechingley ; while Roger Clericus was an actual "cleric," wearing the tonsure as a sign of being 
in "Clerk's orders,'* whether minor, such as reader or parish clerk, etc., or holy as sub-deacon, 
deacon or priest. The other thirteen occupation names compi-ise mason or plasterer, cook, smith, 
forester, miller, baker (2), fisherman, ironmonger, trader, weaver, huntsman, vine-dresser. Among 
these the distinctive Saxon Kereward seems to have pistor tacked on rather as a description than a 
name, as does Geoffrey who doubtless was the miller ; but the " trader " already appears indifferently 
as le Marchaunt and Mercator, whieh perhaps shews that though his father was a pedlar he himself 
was simply an ordinary villain; while the Fisherman can certainly not have made his whole living 
by catching fish in Blechingley, even if he managed the rectory stews and caught eels at odd times, 
so probably his is a real surname latinized. The Ironmonger and the huntsman (as 1st monger and 
le Venour) both became surnames in the parish later, but Cook and Cementar and Baker disappear, 
while Faber or Smith reappears later on as le Ferur or Feroun. Le Vine was a vine-dresser, or 
perhaps vintner, possibly from Gascony. 

Of the fourteen place-names le Fleming and the two "Welshmen proclaim their origin and need 
no gloss. The other twelve (except d'Abernon, from Abernon near Lisieux originally, but more 
directly from Stoke d'Abernon), de Bollokfeld, de Bisse, de Chart, de Chivintou, de Garston, 
de Hani me, de Hadresham, de Hever, de Home, de Stangrave, de Warewic, all come from Saxon 
place-names, and all, except perhaps Hadresham, persisted for generations as place-names in the 
parish, while several, as Bysshe Court, Garston, Ham, Hevers, Warwick wood, are in common use 
to-day. But the study of place-surnames recalls irresistibly the old liddle of the age of egg and 
bird. Did the man bring his name to the place, or did the place give its name to the man? 
D'Abernon, as just said, came from Normandy, and the family that brought it over left it as 
a legacy to this day to a Surrey parish, partly no doubt from their own importance there, but 
chiefly perhaps because Stoke being such a common place-name the patronymic clung as a useful 
distinction from Stoke juxta Guildford and all other Stokes. In Blechingley the name of d'Abernon 
gained no such abiding foothold, but, as will be seen under Pendell, was in a few generations 
corrupted and then forgotten. Garston and Stangrave both seem to have been post Conquest 
importations from places far away. Ham, Hadresham (which was no doubt once the home of 
Hadda, Hadder, Hathra, Headda, or some such Saxon name), Hever, Home are all, like Blechingley 
and Chivintou, Saxon names which grew to the places still so called, and lent themselves to families 
which sometimes moved and took them elsewhere, just as the de Garstones and de Stangraves did. 
"Warwick is probably a similar case, but has no certain history in Blechingley. Bisse, also obscure, 
was perhaps the Saxon Bisi, name of a thane in Bucks and a bishop in East Anglia, but was clearly 
a place-name in Home by this date. 1 Chart, the common local term for open forest land on the 
green sand, and Bullockfield, the good pasture where the plough-teams rested and the steers fatted, 
alone seem to suggest special spots in the parish which gave their names directly to dwellers on 
them ; and neither of them persisted very long as surnames. 

1 The Saxon names given will all Le found in Searlc's Onom. Angl. Sax. 


* >.:,. 







The remaining six names in the list seeni all to conic from personal chai'acteristics or are 
nicknames. Thus Giffard meant originally the free-giver— a popular Norman name which was 
apparently already a true surname. Le Blund was the fair man; Crolling, the curly-haired 1 ; Sharp, 
the quick keen man; le Thume (?the Thumb), the clumsy one ; and poor Wille-with-the-Fet, who 
no doubt always got them in the way. 

But where no marked characteristic called for a nickname a newcomer to the parish would in 
most cases be called after the place from which he came — not necessarily his birthplace, though in 
an age of scanty communications; when men mostly lived and died in one parish, it would very 
probably be so. Indeed, so inveterate has been the habit of giving place-names to people that 
there are probably few townships in England which are not also surnames ; while among old- 
fashioned folk in southern counties the custom of calling a man after the place he hailed from is 
not yet extinct, so that farm hands may still be known among their mates by a place-name which 
quite supersedes their real, well-known but neglected, surname. 

A generation or so later than this differeut names appeared in Blechingley, as Avill be seen ; 
some evidently immigrants bearing their place of origin for surname, but others doubtless sons and 
grandsons of Blechingley men, though in an age when surnames were not yet fully fixed they did 
not bear their fathers' names. 

,' " A yong ?<|uier .... with lokkcs mill as they were laid in presse.'' Chaucer, Prol. Cant. Tale?, 81. 


II.— The first extent of the Manor, 1262. 

The first Inquest extant was held "after the death of Richard" (who died on July 13th, 1262) 
but no date is specified. The original is here extended and transcribed, but is abstracted for 
convenience in English. 

Inquisitiones post mortem II. III., File 27 (5). Richard de Clare, 1262. 

1262. Extenta manerii de Blechingeleye facta per preceptum domiui Regis in comitatu Surrie post 
mortem Ricardi de Clare quondam eomitis Gloucestrie et Hertfford coram Willielmo de Axemouth et 
Willielmo de Horsenden ad hoc assignatis per sacrainentum subscriptorum videlicet Rogeri de Chelsharn 
Rogeri de Home, Williclmi le Cuk, Hugonis de Chevinton, Willielmi de Bollokfeld, Walteri le Fine, Stephani 
filius Haemki, Ricardi de Hedresham, Andree de Home, Ottwici de Tudeham, Bertholomui le Marchaunt et 
AVillielmi le Walcis qui dieunt per s.ncramentuui sinim quod in dominico sunt cccc et xxvi acra? terre arrahilis 

de quibus sunt sexagiuta acre pretium acre vi d et vij et sex acre pretium acre iiij denarii et viginti acre pretium 
acre iij den. et ducente acre pretium acre ij den. et est summa centum xvij sol. Et sunt ibi xxviij acre prati 
de quibus xxt acr pretium acre viij den. et iij acre pretium acre iiij den. et est summa xvij sol. et viij den. Et 
est ibi curia cum gardino et extenditur ad x s. Et est ibi molendinum ad ventum et extenditur ad xxxiij sol. 
iiij den. Et est ibi molendinum aquatieuin et extenditur ad x s. Et sunt ibi duo parci quorum uuus continet 
vij leucas in circuitum et alius unam leucam de quibus pastura extenditur ad lx s. Et pannagium hide 
extenditur ad Is. Subboscus et mortuus boscus eorundem extenditur ad [xxi s.]. 1 Et nuces in parcis extenduntur 
ad ij 8. Perquisita curie extenduntur ad xl s. Redditus libere tenentium extenditur ad lxxix s. Redditus 
villeuagii extenditur ad centum solidos denarium obolum. Operationes vilenagiorum extenduntur ad xiiij libros 
xiiij s. ij den. obolum Tallagium villanorum extenditur ad xl sol. et est patronagium 2 ecclesieet valet xl marcas. 

Et est summa xiiij li. xiiij sol. iiij den. 

Extenta burgi de Blecbingelegh in comitatu Surrie facta per preceptum domini Regis post mortem Ricardi 
quondam eomitis Gloucestrie et Hertfordie coram Willielmo de Horsenden Willielmo de Axemouth ad hoc 
assignatis per sacrainentum subscriptorum videlicet Bertholomei le Marchant, Stephani filii Renildc, Milonis le 
Carbous, Willielmi le Walcis, Galfridi Goderede, Willielmi Deubeneye, Willielmi Otelby, Johaunis de Twyney, 
Willielmi le Twyneye. Ranulphi de la Corne, Johaunis de Thornham et Ricardi le Linge. Qui dieunt per 
sacrainentum suum quod annuus redditus burgi est centum et vi s. et quatuor den. Et redditus shopparum 
stallarum et carettarum extenditur ad quadragiuta solidos. Et visus franci plegii extenditur ad dimidium 
inarce. Placita et perquisita burgi extenduntur ad viginti solidos. Et burgenscs talliarii debent ad voluntatem 
eomitis ad primogenitum filium suum militem faciendum et ad primogenitam filiam suam maritandam pro 
voluntate ipsius eomitis. In cuius rei testimonium predicti juratores huic extente sigilla sua apposuerunt. 

Et est summa viij li. xiij s. 


£ s. d. 

Abable. GO Acres at 6d 1 10 

116 „ 4d 2 S 8 

20 „ 3d 5 

200 „ I'd 1 13 4 

Total Arable 426 A. 5 17 

1 Damaged ami not legible, but supplied to check addition of total. : Or Patronatus. 



Brought forward 



25 Acres at 8d. 
3 „ 4d. 

£ s. (1. 

10 S 

28 A. 

Total farm land in demesne 454 A. 

A courthouse with garden 

A windmill 

A water mill . 

Two Parks : one 7 leagues, the other 1 league in circuit. 
Pasture of them ....... 

Pannage ........ 

Underwood and dead wood . . . . 

Nuts in the parks 


2 10 

1 1 


Total of the 2 parks 

Maxokial Eights. 

Perquisites of Court 
Tenants' fixed rents 
Yillenage, rents 
,, labours 
tallage . 

14 1 

The patronage of the church, worth 40 marks 

Grand total 

The Borough. 

Yearly rents of the borough 
Rents of shops, stalls and carts 
View of frank pledge . 
Pleas and perquisites of court 


£ s. (I. 
5 17 

17 8 

6 14 8 


1 13 4 



G 13 


3 19 

21 14 4 

£43 14 4 
26 13 4 

5 G 4 


6 8 


£8 13 

" And besides, the burgesses owe tallage at the earl's will for making his eldest son a knight, and for 
marrying his eldest daughter." 

Domesday Book recorded in the lord's demesne 5^ ploughs (2\ in Chivington and 3 in 
Blechingley), which at the reputed 120 acres to the plough-gang gives 660 acres. This seems alone 
conclusive proof that the plough-gang in Blechingley was much smaller ; for even at 80 acres the 
total Domesday arable in demesne would be 410 acres, or slightly (14 acres) more than the amount 
in 1262. It is quite unlikely that less than 200 years after 1086 the lord had already let off any 
large amount of demesne. Capitalist farming with villein tenure and services (not leasehold) was 
still the normal arrangement, even though commutation of services may have begun, and it is more 
probable that the lord's demesne had remained practically unaltered. The grass land at 28 acres is 
two acres less than in 1086, so probably there was more fenced hay-land held by villains besides the 
demesne grass, which would again point to tenures in severalty as well as in common fields. The 
454 acres of demesne land is something over one-fifth of the total area suggested as having been 
cultivated in 1086, but it may well he supposed that in nearly 200 years the population had increased 
and more land was under plough. There is no evidence that the chief lord ever held any demesne 


land at Home ; it probably all lay in Blechingley proper ; south of the Place and on Court Lodge 
farm, on the village ridge and below the castle. Thus the " manor of Blechingleg' " is marked on 
the 1622 Pendell map immediately south of the Place ; Lords field was where Tower House stands, 
and Meane {i.e., demesne) fields appear as what was later Bavingtons. Chivington as a manor is 
lost in the single manor of Blechingley. 

No mention is made of the castle, presumably as a thing unsaleable; certainly it would not be 
described as " curia cum gardino." This question is further dealt with under the North Park, but 
since that park w r as certainly the first enclosure for deer, it seems most probable that a chief house 
would have been built there. This would be the court-house and garden of 1262 and the manor 
house of Blechingley, later on to be known as the Place, the Palace of the duke of Buckingham and 
Anne of Cleves, which is to-day Place farm. 

The windmill at £1 13s. 4c?. may have been where the disused one still stands on Botteras Hill, 
and as Mr. Maiden has suggested, was perhaps used to pump water from the well hard by into the 
castle fosse ; 1 it is outside the parish, but much later Pendell manor owned land in Nuffield. 
There was, however, once a windmill north of Godstone Green, in Godstone parish, but in 
Blechingley manor, and this is perhaps a more likely site. The device was brought home by the 
Crusaders, it is said, and the first recorded windmill in Normandy was about 1180. 2 In England the 
earliest was perhaps one at Haberdonin Bury, which Jocelin tells us Herbert the dean set up in 1190. 

Fear that the burghers would forsake his water-mills for the new windmill, and so deprive him 
of his tolls without hope of redress "because they are free men" (and therefore not compelled to 
grind at the lord's mill), so stirred the wrath of Abbot Sampson that he threatened the dean with 
dire penalties for presuming to make changes within the Banlieue, a thing that neither king nor 
justiciar could do without the convent's consent. "Never," he declared, "would he chew bread 
again until the structure was destroyed. Go back," he ended, " go back, and before you reach home 
you shall hear what will happen to your mill." The terrified dean retired and forthwith set all his 
men to pulling down the offensive windmill, and when the convent servants arrived there was 
nothing left to destroy. 3 In Surrey the first windmill is found at Warlingham (about 1218) , 4 so 
the Blechingley windmill was a fairly early one, since two or three generations would be a short while 
for such a new idea to take root in the economy of English agriculture. 5 

The water-mill at 10s. was Ivy Mill south of Godstone Green, and was valued in Domesday at 
2s. 8d. It is striking to see how very much more valuable the new-fangled windmill was than the 

The circumference of the two parks must be wrongly given ; this is discussed under the North 

The value of the pasture shews that the parks contained considerable feeding grounds, and this 
supports the idea that some of the common pasture, or Tye, was included in the South Park; but of 
course the amount of pasture available depended chiefly, in an inverse ratio, on the head of deer kept. 

The item of underwood and dead wood perhaps points to clearing in the South Park to allow 
of riding to hounds ; it does not appear in later inquests. 

The 2s. for " nuts " in the park presumably represents their market value ; the picking of them 
was often one of the customary services due from the villains. 6 There may have been "foreign " 

1 See p. 40. : Suss. A. C, V., 273. 6 At Banstead picking mils ami apples was commuted at 

* Joe. de Br., Camden, 43-4. 1,/. the virgate in 1325 (</. Banstead, 54). The Rental of 

* V. C. H., IV., 415. Oxted manor in 1408 (among Mr. Master's deeds) specially 
'* Cf. Arthur Young's strictures on west country farmers mentions " pilare poma domini colligere H'nuces," to pick the 

for not growing turnips at the end of the eighteenth century, lord's apples and gather nuts; but the abbreviation (apparently 

though they had been known in England for 2O0 v ears and a capital II) before nuces is obscure, unless it simply stands for 

zealously advertised by " Turnip " Towushend (Charles, 2nd " Hazel," because the latin word avellana was unknown to 

viscount, 1674—1738) some 100 years before Young wrote. the scribe. 


nuts in the North Park — i.e., walnuts (wal is the same root as welsh, a stranger), which were intro- 
duced into England by the Romans, but even if any had been planted they could hardly yet be 
bearing in the South Park ; hazel nuts would be common. There may have been sweet chestnuts 
on the North Park, which are not uncommon to-day in the northern half of the parish ; but it is 
doubtful if " nuces " could mean chestnuts (castanea), though it could, but not here, be used for 

The " perquisites of court " were those of the Court Baron, the court of the lord of the manor, 
held by eveiy lord — but most usually, of course, not in person but on his behalf by his steward 
(senescalhis) . It was the " customary " court held every three weeks at which the tenants were 
bound to appear (do suit of court, Sectam curiae) and do fealty. All those present were therefore 
called " the homage " ; they formed the court, and under the presidency — not under the orders — of 
the steward they decided all matters of surrender and admittance of copyholders, of tenure and 
alienation or inheritance of freeholders, according to the custom of the manor "from time whereof 
memory existeth not." 1 The " perquisites " consisted of amercements for non-attendance without 
production of "essoin" (i.e., excuse made by proxy in cases of illness, etc.), fines (i.e., fees on admission 
of copyholders), amercements (fines in the modern sense) for putting more stock on common land 
than a tenant had the right to do, obstructing roads, neglecting to maintain fences, and so forth. 

The next three items shew what a large sum was contributed, chiefly in labour, by the villains, 
amounting to nearly half the whole value of the manor. The assessment of villain rents, £5 Os. l^d. 
{i.e., customary services at a money value), at more than 25 per cent, of their total services (tallage 
being excluded as a special tax), £14 14s. 2\d., suggests that commutation — the substitution of cash 
payment for performance of services — was already becoming fairly common. 

The tenants at fixed rents, " libere tenentes, redditu assiso," were the " freeholders," who held by 
homage and suit of court at Blechingley every three weeks, and a fixed yearly payment. The copy- 
holder, as the " unfree " tenant came afterwards to be called (because his title was a copy of the 
entry in the court roll containing the conveyance of the holding to him according to the custom of 
the manor), owed not only suit of court but also many various customary services of ploughing, 
sowing, reaping, carting and the like, besides fines on alienation and reliefs on the entering, and 
heriots on the death of, a tenant. 

The tallage or talliage (taillage) valued at £2 was a special and arbitrary tax levied at will very 
generally on the specific occasions mentioned at the end of the Borough extent — pour f aire f Is chevalier 
et pour fille marier. Henry II. had in 1198 replaced the old hidage tax (which from constant sub- 
infeudation and other causes had become uncertain) by " carucage," a land tax levied on the carucate 
or "hide" which (for the first time probably) he then definitely fixed at 100 acres. 2 Carucage 
varied from 2s. to os. (though it actually went to 5s. for Cceur de Lion's ransom). Scutage was at 
the same time fixed at 20s. for a knight's fee, which was really a money commutation of the forty 
days personal armed service due ; while tallage was levied on the townships and demesne lands of 
the crown. This tallage was at first agreed among the community by whom it was to be paid, the 
idea apparently being that as it was a tax imposed by the mere will of the king the manner of its 
collection should preserve the semblance of a free-will offering; but since 1168 it had been assessed by 
the officers of the exchequer. It was a fruitful cause of dispute, constantly resisted, especially by town- 
ships which denied being ancient demesne of the crown, its payment being the hall-mark of servitude 
and of the lord's absolute ownership. Apparently the king had granted to his tenants in chief (or 
they took) the right to tallage their ancient demesne as he did his own; but although the royal tallage 

1 The formula occurs in the inquest of 1296 after Ihe Tied earl's death: " a tempore quo non exstat memoria." This was 
too short for later lawyers 3 who increased the verbiage though not the sense, to " whereof the memory of man existeth not to the 

- See Stubbs' Historical Introduction to the Rolls Series, ed. Hassall, p. 300, etc. 

Y 2 


was exacted both by Edward II. and Edward III., and the tax was not abolished until the reign of 
Richard II., it is to be noticed that it never again appears in any extent of Blechingley. 1 

The patronage of the church (the advowson, advocacio), 40 marks (£26 13*. Ad.), declined in value 
after this date. It does not enter into the annual value of course, as being " casual " in incidence, 
and an asset of the manor rather than income. 

The borough, as the extract from the Assize rolls in 1225 shewed, did not include the whole of 
Blechingle}'. It was the actual town with a certain (now an uncertain, or rather unknown) area 
around it. Beyond this the rest of the parish wag the " foreign " or " out of doors " part ; forinseais, 
the fuori, or fuori le mure, of Rome. In large boroughs, which were walled towns, all goods entering 
for market would be inspected and have to pay toll at the gates, which in early days would be like 
the church porch, a busy spot and frequent place of meeting. The borough council was called the 
portman-inote or port-moot, the meeting of the men of the " Port " (which, as will be seen later on, 
was actually held at Blechingley). By the end of the twelfth century all boroughs had their own 
officer for collection and payment of taxes — the portreeve, just as the county had its sheriff or 
shire-reeve. The style of " mayor" was adopted from France, and first appears in London in 1208, 
the year which saw the beginning of St. Mary Overy, 2 now the cathedral of the new Southwark 
diocese to which Blechingley belongs. But Blechingley as a " seignorial " or mesne borough never 
had more than a portreeve. Whether Port is porta, a gate, or portus, a haven, is doubtful. A 
borough was nearly always, though perhaps not invariably," associated with a Norman castle, and it 
was certainly very frequently situated on a harbour ; thus there are many place-names ending in 
port on the sea-side, but inland (as Stockport and the various Newports) the termination is not so 
common. But though a very small river would make a haven in those days of small ships, certainly 
Blechingley can never have had the least attempt at one. On the other hand portreeve, which 
dates back to Saxon days, was fixed as the title of the borough fiscal officer long centuries before 
Blechingley attained burghal status. It is interesting to note that in Flemish Poorter means a 
burgher, and in the low countries every town has a haven. Stubbs declares boldly for the porta or 
gate origin, which Skeat seems to support ; Maitland inclines to portus, which is Lambarde's 
derivation, and also that given by Cowel's Interpreter and the Termes de la Ley ; ' so doctors differ. 

The yearly rents amounting to £5 6s. 4d., no doubt exactly calculated, were the rents of the 
" burgages" or freehold houses in the borough, such as Richard the Welshman and Hereward the 
baker had conve3 r ed to John the mason. In return for this rent the burgage-holder, if not already 
a freeholder, would be released from villain services and freed from forced levies of food for the 
supply of the castle. Other important privileges consequent on " burgality " would be the creation 
of the separate borough jurisdiction, i.e., the election of the portmote and the portreeve by the 
burgage-holders, with perhaps the right to assess fines ; and, probably most prized of all, the free 
right to alienate and devise land. Later on it was the burgage-holders alone who elected the 
members of parliament. Hut in a seignorial borough the lord still kept a pretty tight hand on his 
lordship, and it must not be supposed that its " burgality " involved so large a freedom as 
gradually developed under powerful trade guilds and the closely protective system of large towns, 
who bought their charters and rebought their confirmation, very probably with extended rights, at 
every demise of the crown. 

The rents, or as in this instance a better rendering of redditus would perhaps be " the returns " 
or " revenue," from shops, stalls and carts, put down at the round sum of £2 — a not inconsiderable 
one — seems to shew that the town was fairly busy. These rents would be a more or less fixed sum 

1 s«-o Banstead, 88 ; Stubbs, II., 565-6 and note, and I., " See Lambarde, 435, D.B. and B., 195-6. Stubbs, I., 460, 

6o3-7. '"' Chrou, Loud., 7. note; Borough in Eno. Brit, j Mozley, under Portmote ; also 

3 Gatton is a case where there was never a castle, but .Jacob ib. 
Gatton was not a borough till 1450. 


estimated by experience and levied on residents engaged in trade ; the rent of stalls would be 
chiefly " picage," a tax charged on those, whether inhabitants or " foreigners," who broke the 
lord's ground in order to set up booths and stalls ; while the returns from carts would be the toll at 
so much a cartload on goods coming into the borough for sale. Wheels were no doubt becoming 
more used by this date, but except for the great wheeled demesne plough they were perhaps not 
common on the land, the high price of iron making tyres almost prohibitive. The corn was hooked 
off high up with a sickle, sometimes a plain sharp tool and sometimes serrated, and was carried to 
the threshing floor on pack horses ; not a difficult job, since the mediaeval yield was often little over 
a quarter to the acre. 

Frank-pledge was in the first instance a survival of the old Saxon " Fritte " or peace-pledge, 
probably the earliest police-measure in England, by which every male over fourteen years of age 
was sworn to the peace of the king by surety of twelve relatives and neighbours of his tithing. As 
before said the Norman lawyers wrongly construed Fritte as " free," and hence the word frank- 
pledge, the " view " of Avhich (vlsns franci plegii) was for the purpose of exacting the oath in 
question from all who were liable. 1 The persons composing this court were in practice the same as 
those who formed the court baron, viz., the tenants of the manor : from among them were sworn 
twelve jurors, who dealt with the cases presented under the same presidency of the lord's steward. 
The court was held once a year only : 2 in Blechingley about Michaelmas in Henry VIII.'s reign as it 
was in Norman days. 

So the view of frank pledge, which was also called the Court leet 3 or Court of the lord the king, 
as distinguished from the Court baron, or customary court, became gradually a police court, dealing 
with various matters affecting the peace of the king, as well as with trespasses against the 
community. Thus breaches of " the assize of bread and beer," i.e., selling below weight or 
standard; common assaults; trespasses on the common rights of pasturing cattle; or encroachments 
on roads and damage caused to them by unscoured ditches, were some of the most usual offences 
for which the twelve jurors imposed fines, the amount of which (really decided by the precedent of 
custom) was technically fixed by two elected members of the court styled " affeerors." The leet 
dealt also with cases of damage and civil debt if not above 4Us. in value, and further, as pertaining 
to the peace, they elected the head-borough? of the tithings and the constable, besides the bailiffs 
of the borough in Tudor days. The fines, and fees paid by those who sued to recover debts, went 
to the lord and formed the "pleas and perquisites of court," here valued at £1. 

As for the total value of the borough, it may be assumed with some certainty that a large part 
of it was wholly new revenue since the grant of " burgality " before 1225. The "rents of the 
borough" would include not only enhanced house rent for such villains as became burghers, but 
also no doubt new rents for recently -built premises in the growing town, while the market tolls and 
perquisites of court would also increase. In fact, as already suggested, it was probably the desire 
of making his property more profitable which largely decided the lord to raise the status of the 
township. This seems to be borne out, too, by the note at the end of the inquest recording the 
liability of the burgesses on two of the commonest happy events in which feudal custom found a 
pretext for extracting vassals' money — the knighting of the lord's eldest son and the marriage of 
his eldest daughter. The lord did not grant more exemptions than seemed necessary, and it was 

1 Religious persons, clerks, knights and their eldest sons the Lathe or division of the county, used only in Kent (as 

vrere excepted, as having "a stake in the country," which was Rape is in Sussex). But it is also possibly connected with the 

itself a hostage for loyalty. "three or four way leet" (an expression not obsolete when 

- The view would be held first, and after it, prefaced on Ray wrote on English proverbs e. 1630, and explained it by 

the roll merely with the words " modo de curia haronis" fol- Irivium or qttadrivium, the three or four cross-ways). So 

lowed the court baron. perhaps the Blechingley leet first met at St. Catherine's Cross. 

3 Leet is a word of obscure origin perhaps connected with 


probably as " ancient demesne " tliat he kept this right to exact the unpopular tallage from the 
bur<ra<?e-holders as well as from the villains. 

The witnesses to this inquest afford the earliest list of names drawn chiefly from Blecbingley. 
Among them Roger de Home was a man of some importance, who has already appeared as a 
witness to William Venator's sale at Ham, and was a trusted servant of the earl. In 1266 he was 
one of a jury of three with John de Clare (no relative of the great family probably, but a Suffolk 
cleric) and Roger Loveday, appointed by earl Gilbert "to enquire into the conduct of his bailiffs in 
the late disturbances and to do justice." 1 Roger and his wife Maud in 1269 acquired Garston in 
Coulsdon of Joel and Philippa de la Garstone, 161^ acres for 45 marks, 2 and the same year for 
80 marks they also bought of them Newelond in Coulsdon, a house and 120 acres in demesne with 
manorial rights, this latter conveyance being recorded in the Chertsey cartulary, as Coulsdon 
belonged to that monastery .^ Roger was steward of Tonbridge in 1270,* and before the century 
was out he (or his son Roger) was lord of the manor of Effingham East Court. 5 

William le Cuk was perhaps son of the Robert and Mabil Coke to whom Joan de Stangrave 
granted houses and land in 1251. Hugo de Chiventon was conceivably the same as the 
Hugo de Chert (living perhaps at Pound house, and farming that and Chiventon together) in 
the undated conveyance by Richard de Clare to John de la Garstune. 6 

William de Bollokefeld has already appeared and perhaps took his name from an enclosure of 
good pasture near "le foot de le Whytehill " ; his descendant was a tenant of Pendell in 1336; 
Walter le Fine had left his name at Punk's Bridge mead; Gilbert de Hedresham was one of the 
numerous and important family coming from the manor of Hedresbam (now Hathersham Farm) 
at the south end of Nuffield parish. They were constantly in Blecbingley, not always for lawful 
purposes as the accounts of trespasses in the parks shew, and they owned lands and a house 
at Pendell. 

But if the de Clare parks at Blecbingley (and probably elsewhere) were often broken into, it 
must be admitted that Mrs. Be-done-by-as-you-did might bave something to say in the matter; for, 
as has been seen in the account of the de Clares, the great earls themselves were not above a little 
poaching for the sport and for the pot au feu when on a journey, either personally or by their 
servants; while an entry in the Register of the saintly Thomas de Cantelupe, Bishop of Hereford, 
and himself a connection of the earls of Gloucester, shews how at Christmastide in 1279 the 
foresters of the Red earl were making peace with the bishop for their audacious trespass on his 
rights, when be went to take possession of his Chase at Malvern. Robert Wytlok, John le Rede of 
Blecbingleye, and Roger de Boltisham (which is probably a misreading for Bottisham, whence the 
Blecbingley Bodekesbams came) were the offending verderers, and rather than face excommunication 
— the priest's weapon in those days against lay plunderers — they made abject submission, and so 
probably saved their master's face. In later days the Red earl was often poaching and marauding 
on episcopal property: but at the moment when Edward was applying a strong band everywhere 
and Cantelupe was himself in high office, Gilbert probably preferred not to vouch his vcrderers; and 
indeed no more disputes seem to have occurred between him and Bishop Cantelupe, who knew how 
to make himself respected even by the most turbulent noble in the kingdom, whom he had already 
defeated in a court of law. 7 

The Tudhams were still tenants under the manor in the days of Nicholas Carew, and left 
their name to Tudham or Tedham Farm and Tudham Gate, the south gate of the South Park. 

i Seep. 95. * M. and B., II., 449— 453. '• Re*. Th. de Cantelupe, Hereford Eec. Soc, 227-8. 

J Chertaey Cart. (Suit. Re<\ Sue), sc<t. 1 to, p. 1J5. Cf. D.N.B., S.T. Th. Cantelupe (121S— 82). Cantelupe'e 

' M and U , 11., 072. assertion of his rights seems to have been one cause of Gilbert 

* Sec the extent of 129G, Chapter V. digging the great fosse acrosi the Malvern hill* to delimit 

■ Chapter VI., i. boundaries. See p. 102. 


Bartholomew le Marchaunt has appeared as " Mercator," and as such witnessed a deed about this 
date conveying land to John le Cope, already noticed. William le Walcis came no doubt from 
de Clare lands on the Welsh Marches. 

Among the witnesses to the borough extent may be noticed Miles le Caboue and Gilbert le 
Lun<*, who were members for Blechingley in 1307 ; also William Deubeneye, probably father of the 
Walter who comes into rather prominent notice in the fourteenth century. 

The inquest does not state where it was held, but it was no doubt at Blechingley, and 
possibly — more especially if the "curia" was up at North Park — in the church. Here the jury 
would perhaps be sworn at the high altar and the whole " presentment " made solemnly as a true 
and faithful account of all that was known to them. 1 

1 On the use of churches for such purposes and for conveyance of land, see Mr. Addy's " Church and Manor," Chaps. VIII. 
and IX., p. 183, etc., though he may be thought to have relied too much to prove his case on instances which were exceptional rather 
than general. 



III. — The second extent, 1296. A Sussex Blechinglegh. 

In 1271 one Simon of Blechingley and his wife Emma granted a rent of 8s. 3d. in Chertsey to 
the Abhot of Chertsey in pure and perpetual alms, in return for which the Abbot received 
them and Emma's heirs in final benefits and prayers, which were to be said in his church 
for ever.i 

In the same year Reginald, brother and heir of John de la Hamme, granted 2 to John and Joan 
de Hevere 30 acres of land and 2 acres of wood in Hamme in exchange for three messuages, 
17 acres of land and 14d. rent in Blechingeleie. 

This 1 7 acres was very possibly the hilly enclosure called Hevers to-day, a favourite parish 
toboggan run when there is snow enough. The swop was level, each paying the other Id. rent at 
Easter and doing all services due to the lord. It was still aiable in 1841 (except for a bit of copse 
on the very steepest part), while the deep bank at the south end against Wiggy shews it to have 
been ploughed land for centuries. 

The sale of house and lands by Ralph and Beatrix de St. Lo in 1296 to Adam de Blechingley 
(who was later rector) is noticed elsewhere. 5 

In 1285 one John and Ida de la More, i.e., of the Marsh, painter (pictor), conveyed 9 acres of 
land in Blechingley to Roger Sharp at a yearly rent of Id. 1 Roger Sharp and Roger le Poleter 
(? the poultryman), whose name was preserved in Pulter's croft, were the Red earl's bailiffs in 
1290, when they seized young John de Walton's manor of Woldingham, distraining his tenants to 
answer at Blechingley for paying rent to de Walton, who was eventually compelled to quitclaim his 
manor to the earl. Later, when the Red earl had surrendered all his lands to the king, le 
Poleter and Matthew, son of Wluyne (? Llewelyn) de Nuffield, were ordered to keep possession, and 
accordingly went over and ordered off John de Walton's reeve, one " Gilbert de Waldyngeham, who 
forthwith departed." 5 

Sharp's name still remains in Great Sharps, north of Stichens. But what is most interesting 
in the deed is the description of de la More as a " painter." He was certainly not a house-painter, 
but perhaps he earned his living decorating knightly shields with heraldic devices or adorning the 
interior of churches with, it is to be hoped, less gruesome displays than the famous Ladder of 
Heaven, painted just a century hefore this date, in the adjoining parish of Chaldon. But only 
perhaps of recent years has it been generally realized how high stood the artist's skill in England 
in pre-Renaissance days, and how much creditable and beautiful painting on screens and walls our 
churches lost from the wanton destruction of more civilized generations. 

1283. The yearly fair to be held on the eve, feast and morrow of All Saints (so long as it was 
not an injury to neighbouring fairs) was granted by king Edward to the Red earl on October 1st, 
1283, at Acton Burnell, after the successful conclusion of their protracted Welsh campaign, and a 
few months after Edward had promised him the hand of his daughter Joan of Acre." 

1 226, F. 20 aud S. A. C, p. 48, 273. 
- 226, P. 20 and S. A. C, p. 47, 258. 
3 See Chapter X. 
* P. 227, P. 21 and S. A. C, p. 57, 26. 

'' I. P.M. Misc., I., 1507, aud c/. M. and B., II., 417. 

" Ch. R. under date (268); orig. roll is 11 E. I., i., 01. 
Mr. Leveson Gower transcribed it in S. A. C, V., 253. It lias 
here been copied aud oiteuded from the original. 


Pro Gilberto de Clare comite Gloveruic ct Herfcfordie (in margin). 
Rex Archiepiscopis etc. salutem. Sciatis uos concessisse ct liac carta nostra confirmasse dilecto ct fideli 
nostro Gilberto de Clare comiti Glovernie et Hortfordie (juod ipse et hereden sui imperpetuum habeant unam 
feriain apud manerium de Blescingeleye in comitatu Surrie singulis annis per tres dies duraturam videlicet in 
vigilia et in die et in crastino festivitatis omnium sanctorum. Nisi feria ilia sit ad nocumentum vicinarum 
feriarum. Quare volumus etc. quod predictus comes et heredes sui imperpetuum habeant predictam feriam 
apud manerium suum prediction cum omnibus libertatibus et liberis consuetudinibus ad banc feriam pertinentibits. 
Nisi etc., sicut pi*edictum est. Hiis testibus venerabilibus prioribus E. Bathoniense et Wellense et "VV. Norwyei 
episcopo. Edmundo fratre nostro. Edmundo comite Cornubiae. ITenrico de Lascy comite Lincolniae. 
Bogero le Bygod Comite Norffolce et marescallo Anglie. Humfrido de Bobun Comite Herefordie et Essexie. 
Johanne de Vescy. Ottone de Grandisono. Boberto filio Johannis. Eicardo dc Bosco et aliis. Datum per 
manum nostram apud Actouam Bmnellam primo die Octobris. 

Inquisitiones post mortem. Gilbertus de Clare. 2J; Edw. I., File 77. 
[Saturday after January 13th, 1296]. Inquisitio de terris et tcnementis que fuerunt Gilberti de Clare comitis 
Gloucestriae et Hertford in comitatu Surriae facta apud Blacliynggeleye die sabbati proximo post festum sancti 
Hyllarii anno regni Kegis Edwardi vicesimo quarto per Gilbertum atte Pende, Eogerum le Moyne,MicbMicbaelem 
(sic) de la Solere, Jobanuem le Ferur, Walterum Loring, Pbilippum atte Pende, Bartholemaeum le Helde, 
Johannem atte Crucbe, Adam atte Pende, Jobanuem de Dillingfeld, Bieardum atte Holeweye et Bobertum 
filium Stephani qui dicunt super sacrameutum suum quod predictus Gilbertus die quo obiit tenuit manerium de 
Blechiugleye cum omnibus suis pcrtinentiis de domino rege in capite a tempore quo uon extat memoria set per 
quod scrvicivun iguorant et est de bonore de Clare et est ibi quoddam capitale messuagium quod valet per 
aunum cum gardino et certis infra clausis vis. viiid. Item sunt ibi ccc acrae terre arrabilis et valent per 
annum lxxv s. pretium acrae iij d. Item sunt ibidem cc acrae (sic) peioris terre arrabilis et valent xxij s. viij d. 
prctium acrae ij d. Item sunt ibidem xv acrae prati et valent per auuum xs. pretium acrae viij d. Item sunt 
ibidem xix acrae peioris prati et valent ix s. vi d. pretium acrae vj d. Item stmt ibidem duo parci et valet 
pannagium cum accident per aunum Ix s. Item dicunt quod sunt ibidem viij li x s. de redditu assiso per annum 
venientes de tenentibus forinsecus videlicet ad natalia domini xxxvs. et ad Pascba xl s. et ad festum sancti 
Jobaunis Baptistae xxxv s. et ad festum sancti Micbaelis lx s. Item dicunt quod sunt ibidem xxvj s. viii d. 
provenientes de Ockstede videlicet ad festum Pascbatis et ad festum sancti Micbaelis per equales partes. Item 
sunt ibi xiij s. iiij d. provenientes de terra que fuit bubulci ad quatuor terminos principales per equales porciones. 
Item sunt ibidem xxs. provenientes de j molendino aquatico ad firmam dimisso videlicet ad quatuor terminos 
principales per equales porciones. Item sunt ibidem xiiij librae per annum provenientes de tenentibus forinsecus 
de operibus grossis et miuutis videlicet ad natalia domini lx s. ad festum Pascbatis lx s. ad festum sancti Johannis 
Baptistae lxs. et ad festum sancti Micbaelis vi libri. Item sunt ibidem de prcdictis tenentibus forinsecus ad 
festum sancti Micbaelis de visu franci plegii viij s. iiij d. Item placita et perquisita curiae de prcdictis tenentibus 
forinsecus valent per aunum xxxs. Item dicunt quod sunt ibi x marcae provenientes de Bogero de Home de 
manerio suo dc Effyngham ad quatuor an annuos (sic) terminos principales per equales porciones. Item sunt 
ibidem xxvi s. viij d. de Herwardelcye videlicet ad natalia do mini xiij s. iiij d. et ad festum Sancti Johannis Baptistae 
xiij s. iiij d. Item sunt ibidem de Parksilver viij s. Item dicunt quod sunt ibidem cvii s. de redditu assiso 
provenientes de tcnementis villate de Blechingcleye ad quatuor terminos principales per equales porcioues. Item 
sunt ibi ij s. de quadam domo in eadem villa ad feodi firmam dimissa ad quatuor auni terminos principales per 
equales porciones. Item sunt ibidem de cominuni hue per annum vi s. viij d. videlicet ad diem visus franci 
plegii. Item stallae et tolnetum fori valent per annum xvi s. Item placita et perquisita curiae tenentium 
villate valent per annum xiij s. iiij d. Item est ibidem 1 molcndinum ad ventum et modo ui[hil] valet quia 
f i actum. Summa totius lilib. xv s. ij d. Item dicunt quod predictus Gilbertus tenuit die quo obiit apud 
Tillingdune ccc acrae terre arrabilis de domino Bege per quod servitium iugnorant ct valent per annum 1 o. 
pretium acrae ij d. Item sunt ibidem xx acrae spineti ct valent in toto per annum xx d. pretium acrae 1 d. 
Summa li s. viij d. Item dicunt per sacrameutum suum quod predictus Gilbertus tenuit die quo obiit apud 
Chepstede x acrae spineti de domino Bege et valet proficuum indc per annum xii d. Item sunt ibidem lx s. 
redditus assisi custumarii per annum videlicet ad Pascha xxx s. et ad festum sancti Michaelis xxx s. Item sunt 
ibidem vi libri de grossis et minutis serviciis custumariis per annum videlicet ad natalia domini xxx s. ad Pascha 


s\x s. ad festum sancti Johnnnis Baptietae xx s. et ad festum sancti Miehaelis xls. Item sunt ibidem xxxi s. 
rcdditus de tenemento quod f uit Roberti de Loges. Item sunt ibidem quieti tenentes qui solvent quocunque 
altero auuo quatuor quarteria frumenti ad festum sancti Martini et valent xxvis. iiij d. pretium quarterii vis. 
viijd. Et iidem tenentes quocunque altero anno vi quarteria avene et valent x s. pretium quarterii xx d. Et 
sic de anno in annum valent xviij a. iiij d. Item placita et perquisita valent per annum ij s. Summa xi li. xij s. 
iiijd. Dicunt etiam quod Gilbertus Alius predicti Gilberti et a propinquiore beres ejus et est etatis quinque 
annorum. In cuius rei testimonium predicti juratores presenti Iuquisitioni sigilla sua apposuerunt. 

Summa summarum lxvli. xt s. ii d. 

Item dicunt quod advocacio ecclesie de Blcchingeleye pertinet ad predictam tenuram et valet cum accident 
xx lib. 

Item advocacio ecclesie de Chepetede pertinet ad tenuram et valet cum acciderit xxv marcae. 

That same year in July poachers, who had broken Burstow Park, were solemnly excommunicated 
in the churches of Charlewode, Grenestede, Blachingelee and South Mailing (by Lewes). 1 The 
names of the delinquents were not given and probably they were not known ; but no doubt inhabi- 
tants of the parishes named were suspect, and the spiritual thunders of the aggrieved archbishop 
were expected to discover them, like the jackdaw of Bheims. 

The death of the Red earl on December 7th, 1295, caused the next inquest to be held at 
Blachyngeleye on the Saturday after St. Hilary's Day (January 13th), 1296. 2 The original is 
transcribed as before and abstracted, omitting however Chipstead, which for some reason has been 
extended with Blechingley. 

The jury were mostly either Blechingley men or not distant neighbours. Gilbert, Philip and 
Adam atte Pende presumably came from Pendell way. 3 Roger le Moyne and Michael de la Solere 
sat for the borough in 1302 as Rogerus le Moygne and Michael de Solariis. Moyne, the monk, 
conveys either a scandalous paternity or merely a nickname ; Michael was perhaps a man of some 
substance distinguished by having a solar, or upper chamber, to his house, or else was a lodger in 
an upper room.* John le Ferur or Feron was still a tenant in Blechingley in 1336. Walter Loring 
is perhaps only another form of Le Longe ; Richard atte Holeweye no doubt took his name from 
the land still so called, where the old hollow road led from le Foot de la Whyte Hill into Water 
Lane. Diliingfeld has not been found elsewhere ; Bartholomew le Helde is simply at the Hill, 
Held being a common middle English form of the word, but he was no doubt a Blechingley man; 
and John atte Cruche, unless he lived at St. Catherine's Cross, perhaps came from Crouch House 
at Edenbridge, which was a de Clare manor. 

1296. They open more formally than the jury of the previous generation, stating that Gilbert 
held the manor of Blechingleye of the king in chief from time beyond memory, but by what service 
they know not, but it is of the Honour of Clare. 

There is there : — £ s. d. 

A capital messuage, with garden and closes belonging, worth . . 6 8 

Arable land 300 acres at 3d. . . £3 15 

worse, 200 2d. . . 12 8 (sic) 

£4 17 8 

500 acres. 

1 Reg. Epist. J. Peekham, TIL, p. 1075. were members in 1311 and 1848; so tlio name was not 

2 I. P.M., 24 Edw. I., File 77, 1 290. uncommon, especially as it is not likely there was much coin- 

3 But Pende in the sense of Peond, an enclosure or Pond munication at that date between Blechingley and the Ash- 
(of water), is a common name and they may not have come down Porest town. Nut the name shews that a solar or upper 
from Blechingley at all ; see further under Pendell, VIII. room, common enough in manor houses, was still rare in 

4 William ate Solere was the first recorded member for smaller dwellings. 
East Grinstend (in 1300), and Geoffrey and John at Solere 



Brought forward 
Meadow laud 15 acres at 8d. 

worse 19 „ bV. 

£ s. d. 

£0 10 
9 6 

£ s. d. 
£4 17 8 


34 acres 
Total demesue land 

531 acres. 

There are two parks : — ■ 

Pannage, when it accrues, worth yearly ..... 
Fixed rent from tenants of the foreign, paid quarterly 

Rent from Ockstede, paid half-yearly 

From land which was the ploughman's, paid quarterly 

From a water-mill let to farm, paid quarterly .... 

From tenants of the foreign for labours great and small : at 

Christmas 60s., at Easter 60s., at Midsummer 60s. and at 

Michaelmas £6' ......... 

From the same tenants of the foreign, at Michaelmas from the view 

of frank pledge .......... 

From ditto. Pleas and perquisites of court yearly .... 

From Roger of Home from his manor of Effyngham, paid quarterly, 

10 marks ........... 

From Herwardeley, paid half-yearly ...... 

From parksilver .......... 

Boito. From fixed rents of the houses in the township (villate) of Blechiuge- 
leye, paid quarterly ......... 

From a house in the said town let to fee farm, paid quarterly . 
From the common fine for the year at the day of view of frauk pledge 
Of stalls and market tolls for the year ...... 

Pleas and perquisites of court, of the tenants of the township yearly 
There is a windmill not worth anything, because broken . 

Total 2 
Gilbert is his son and next heir, aged 5 years. 

The advowson of the church of Blechingeleye belongs and is worth, when 
it falls in 

£ s. d, 
6 8 

5 17 2 

6 3 10 


8 10 

16 8 

13 4 



8 4 

1 10 

6 13 4 

16 8 


5 7 


6 8 


13 4 

£45 2 

7 5 
£51 15 2 


It will be noticed that though the demesne land has increased from 454 to 534 acres, the 
court-house has sadly decreased in value and is described as a " capital " or " chief " dwelling-house 
and not as curia, "the court-house." The Red earl's stormy life had left him little leisure to be 
much at Blechingley, and the house bad probably fallen into bad repair. The parks have lost their 
feeding' value, no doubt owing to the heavy head of deer carried, and only the pannage for pigs 
remains. The fixed rent from tenants of the foreign at £8 10*. appears to answer to the tenants' 
fixed rent £3 19s., as well as the villenage rents £5 Os. l^d. in 1262, so that there is actualh- a 
decline in value ; while the value of these villains' labours has also sunk from £14 14s. 2±d. to .£14 
and tallage has disappeared. The holding at Oxted is new since 1262. The IPM of 1347 shews 
that Hugh d'Audley held land at Oxted of the king, which may have been the sanip, but nothing is 

1 The four quarters add up to £13. Michaelmas with its harvest services was naturally the most valuable, but if the total 
£1-1 is correct, perhaps £0 should be £5, leaving the other three quarters equal. s It adds up to £52 5*. 2d. 

z 2 


known of it ; on the other hand, as will be seen, Oxted manor acquired a rent of two marks in 
Blechingley later on. The "land which was the ploughman's," " que fait bubidci y " is a difficult}' : 
it looks as if it had been forfeited to the lord, who now lets it at the substantial rent of one mark. 
Perhaps it should be set off against the 14s. drop in villains' services. The water-mill has been let 
at £1, double its value in 12G2, for the windmill being broken, it once more had all the custom. 
The view of frank-pledge (8s. 4c?.) apparently held separately for the foreign is new, unless it 
should be added to the 30s. of pleas and perquisites of court, which would thus nearly reach the 
1202 total of £2. 

Roger de Home, no doubt son of the Roarer de Home who witnessed William Venator's deed about 
12-"><» and was a juror in the 1262 inquest, and grandson of the Richard de Home who acted as 
proxy for William de Garston in 1229, had acquired a lease of the manor of Effingham, which was 
reckoned as a member of Blechingley ; but his family did not keep it long, for it was in one John 
Pichard's hands in 130G and in the last earl's own hands in 13 11.' Harrowsley also now brought 
in £1 6s. 8d., another evidence of how the weald was gradual!}' being more and more brought under 

Parksilver was a charge on the tenants for maintaining the park pale, as is shewn in loll, 
when John de VVarbelton averred that his father held the manor of Tandridge of Gilbert de Clare 
by knight service and suit of court and " 2s. a year parksilver to enclose the earl's park," and a fine 
at the will of the lord from any purchaser, as services to the manor of Blechingcleghe.- This 
appearance of parksilver is perhaps a case of feudal demand and supply. If Roger de Clare 
enclosed the South Park, as suggested, in 1233, a stout oak pale of cleft (net sawn) timber would 
last some 40 years before it required extensive renewals; so that while '"park siiver" was not 
needed in 12G2, it would have begun to be wanted long before 129G, when this inquest mentions it 
as an established charge. It may therefore have been first levied by the Red earl after he had 
come of age (in 12G4), when the paling began to need assistance. This paling or " ringfence " 
marked the difference between a " park " and a free chase or warren, and was of the first 
importance, for if allowed to lie open a park was forfeit to the king. 

These items total to £Ao 0s. 2d., and appear to correspond with the manorial extent of 12G2 
amounting to £43 14s. 4c?., without the borough. But since the Oxted payment of Ml Gs. 8d. and 
the Effingham manor rent of £6 13s. 4c?. are extras, the real value of the manor was £8 less, or 
£37 0s. 2c?. as against .£43 14s. 4c?., despite the new income of £1 6s. 8c?. from Harwardsley. The 
parks alone have lost £3 13s. of this, but no doubt they had produced a good deal of venison and it 
may be hoped good sport too. The windmill was a loss of over £1, even allowing for the doubled 
value of the water-mill. The loss on villenage rents and labours is more difficult to understand, 
especially as the borough also shews a loss ; unless it was that the Red earl's constant turbulence 
and warfare on the marches had been a heavy tax on the manhood of Blechingley and the tenants 
had actually decreased in numbers. It is noticeable that the expression " villenage " has been 
dropped — though certainly the services had not been — and the manor is divided into "•foreign " and 
"township" (villata), which here clearly means borough: yet the lay subsidy of 1332 is recorded 
in two lists under burgux and villata, " borough and township," where evidently villata means the 
"foreign." In fact, the word vill is loosely used in three senses — sometimes meaning an actual 
borough (e.g., Kingston is headed villata de K. in the 1332 subsidy, though entered in its proper 
place among the boroughs) ; sometimes as the foreign itself if contrasted with the borough ; or 
simply as " the vill," meaning the whole parish. 

Por the borough the fixed rents have not dropped, being £5 7s. against £5 6«. 1,7. in 12G2, and 
there is also a leasehold house at 2s., perhaps the burgage of the portreeve, which reappears later 
as a second chief messuage. The common fine at the view of frank-pledge, which was money 

1 V. C. II , III., 322, and note - lour Book, 15th Edw. III., p. <J8. 


brought by the tithiugs towards the cost of holding the " Law-day," and was often called cert 
money, 1 stands unaltered at 6s. 8d., but the market dues have fallen woefully from £2 to 16*. 
"Shops" have dropped out, but " piccage " for stalls was still exacted, while the market toll no 
doubt answers to the " revenue from carts " of 1262. The decline of these market returns is 
remarkable, and especially so as they do not recover again either in 1307 or 1314; perhaps the 
three days fair affected them, or possibly the chief industry of fulling was already leaving 
Blechingley. The same remarks apply to the pleas and perquisites of court, which drop from £1 to 
13.?. Ad. and remain at that figure both in 1307 and 1314. 

The total value of the borough amounts therefore to £7 5s. as against £8 13s. in 1202, and it 
must be confessed that altogether the Red earl had not improved his property. 

These last years of Edward I.'s reign were a lawless period, ushering in the troubles of his 
son's unhappy reign, which lasted almost continuously through it and until Mortimer's execution 
in 1330 marked the beginning of a stronger rule. The appointment of conservators of the peace in 
1300 — the forerunners of our local magistrates — speaks to the need felt for greater security of life 
and property, and local records reflect the turbulence of the day. Thus in 1301 commission issued 
to the justices in eyre from the king on his Scottish campaign at Linlithgow to hear and settle 
{oyer et terminer) the complaint of John de Beauchamp of Somerset, that while he was on royal 
service in Scotland a party of no fewer than 65 men had cut and carried off his corn by night at 
Chipstead, driven away 200 sheep from his fold and imprisoned Philip Wodeman and William le 
Clerk his servants.* This affair seems to have been a foray by choice spirits from the neighbour- 
hood. John le Parker and John Miles are the only two actually described as coming from 
Blachinglegh, but Gilbert atte Pende and Thomas Stonhard, and perhaps Peter and Simon Blaundis 
and John Sopere, probably came from there. Reigate sent Nicholas and William le Warenner, 
Hugh le Taylleur (who sat in three parliaments for Reigate between 1309 — 12), Richard le 
Mareschal (the smith), Walter Takerer (the button maker), and Roger de Collee (Colley Hill). John 
and Roger le Loge came from Burstow Lodge, and the family also held land, called after them 
Lodge, in Horley. 3 Ranulph atte Redehelde and John, son of Joan and Roger de la Redestone, 
clearly lived near Redhill Station. Hamo de Gatton and John Aylmer came from Gatton just 
above, while others came from as far afield as Wotton beyond Dorking and Sunt at Edenbridge.* 
Some came from Chipstead itself and near by, as John de Stadbiry, which is the old Walpole home 
of Stagbury at the foot of Banstead Park Downs. The surnames seem to be almost entirely either 
of the places where they lived or the occupations in which they were engaged — as Mareschal (the 
blacksmith) and le Parker (the park-keeper), or the aggrieved outdoor and indoor servants of de 
Beauchamp, the woodman and the accountant. What happened to the marauders is not known, 
but since the Reigate tailor was a burgess not many years after, they probably escaped with fines. 

1302. Just a year later five Blecchinggeleye men were laid by the heels in "the king's prison 
of the earl's (de Warrene's) castle at Reygate," where the earl was enjoined to keep them 
safely. 5 The offence was trespass in the free chases and warrens of the king and earl and others, 
and the prisoners were Ralph Deubeneye (the M.P., or father of the M.P. of 1322) ; Thomas, 
another member of the noted poaching family of le Parker; Walter le Taylleur; Stephen le 
Dissher and William Underhelde ; with one foreigner Andrew de Morlee, which is probably 
Morlaix in Brecknock, so closely connected with de Clare exploits. Here again no record remains 
of the result of the trial which was presumably held, and again the name of one of the defendants 
reappears, but this time twenty years later, as M.P. for the borough. William Underhehle 
suggests the Underhyll of the Carew court roll in 1523, and he may have lived there (Castle 
Farm) ; but the name is so generally applicable that identification is not possible. 

1 Pro certv letae, " for the certaiu holding of the court 3 V. C. II., 111., 203. Au interesting example of how 

leet " appears to be the sense. N.B.D., s.v. one place got its name from another place. 

: P. It., Dec. 2, 1301 (79). « Henry Sunt, serjeant. s C. E., Nov. 26, 1302 (1). 


One more local instance may be given at this period shewing how family disputes were carried 
on by a mixture of armed force and judicial process. The de Hammes have already been noticed 
as a family of some importance, so much so that in 1297 John de Hamme was appointed to 
" select and retain in the king's service at the king's wages knights and yeomen of Surrey to be at 
London with their horses and arms " that October. 1 John had married Alice, daughter of Roland 
de Oxted who died in 1291, leaving the manor of Oxted divided between her and her four sisters. 
Of these five Clarice and her husband Martin Schenke had by inheritance and purchase acquired 
three-fifths before 1299, while John and Alice had acquired the other two-fifths in 1301, and John 
paid 15s. relief in 1320 for the share purchased of his youngest sister-in-law Thomasin. John and 
Alice both died in 1326 without issue, and the manor of Oxted descended to John, son of Clarice 
and her second husband Roger de Walsworth, and Heniy, son of Thomasin. Sir Roger de 
Walsworth had been rector of Oxted in 1304 and patron in 1809, and in 1341 his son John and his 
cousin Hemy convejed all their share of the manor and aclvowson to Sir Robert de Stangrave and 
his wife Joan, daughter of Sir Reginald de Cobham of Starborough. 

Such, briefly, is the decorous descent rehearsed by Manning, 2 but the Close rolls tell a more 
vivid tale of family affairs. In 1301 Martin and Clarice Schenkes were complaining that their 
brother-in-law John de Hamme, with his brothers Robert and William and many more, among 
whom may be noted Ralph Deubeneye, John de Cheventon, John le Heyward, Richard de 
Bodelcesham with his son William, Walter Steven, clerk, John Myles, John le Ferrour (all 
Blechingley names), entered their houses at Oxted, took their goods, reaped and carried their corn 
and assaulted their men. And next week John de Hamme's mother-in-law Christiana de Okestede 
lodged a complaint that Johu and William de Hamme, with much the same party, had broken her 
houses, assaulted her, fished in her stews and taken away the fish, and cut and carried off her 
timber. 3 The subsequent history of the land, just recited, seems to shew that de Hamme lost 
nothing by this forcible treatment of his wife's family, and the case was no doubt a common 

Some further deeds of this period about Garstone and Stangrave are noticed under the 
accounts of those lands ; but just as both Garstone and Stangrave were names imported by 
families from far distant places and left behind them to their lands in Blechingley, so one instance 
can be given of a like transfer of the name of Blechingley itself. In the Sussex lay subsidy for 
1296 Nicholas de Blecehyngelegh appears in the south borough of Rotherfield for the not 
inconsiderable sum of 4s. 6|d. Rotherfield was a de Clare manor, and the notorious Bogo, the Red 
earl's brother, was rector there. Bogo was then recently dead, and, as a priest, would not in any 
case figure in the lay subsidy, but the earl's name appears for the large sum of £4 14s. ; and no 
doubt Nicholas, or his father before him, was a de Clare retainer, born in Blechingley, who had 
received a grant at Rotherfield from his lord. The 1327 and 1332 lay subsidies give John de 
Blechingelegh at 3s. 4|tZ. and 5s. 3d. in the vill of Rotherfield, and in 1327 also John de Blecchyng- 
leghe, no doubt the same man, witnessed an agreement about a yearly pension due from a 
Rotherfield rector to the monks of Rochester. ' The place name is Blatchinglye, as now marked on 
the ordnance map, and the steading stands on a knoll of its own a mile or more eastwards from the 
town of Rotherfield. It is still a separate holding of some 150 acres, and the house is a typical 
wealden farm house with central chimney stack and projecting rear wing in which is a huge old 
oven. It dates perhaps from Henry VIII. 's time, and doubtless occupies the same site as the 
thirteenth century dwelling of Nicholas de Blechingelegh. Another emigrant to Sussex was Walter 
de Blachingelege, who appears for (is. 0\d. in 1296 in the Archbishop's manor of Pagham, but 
he reappears no mure, and left no place name behind him. 

1 C. \l., Sept. It;, 1207 (309). : M. and li , II , 383-4, 301. a C. E., Feb. 10 ami 18, 1301 (622-3). 

' Registr, Roff., 594. This annual pension of 2 marks was dishonestly withheld by Uogo when rector. See p. 108. 
' buss. liec. Soc, Vol. X. Subsidies, pp. 31-2, 188, 300 ; also 86. 


IV.— The last de Clare extents, 1307 and 1314. 

1307. King Edward's daughter, Joan of Acre, held all Gilbert's lands by her marriage settle- 
ment jointly with him, and absolutely after his death, with remainder to ber heirs. She died 
towards the end of March and the inquest was lield at Blacchingelegh on May 28th, 1307. Nearly 
all the jurors were Blechingley men — Roger le Moyne, M.P., in 1302, and John Ferour had been 
jurors in 1296 ; Gilbert le Long and Robert Stephens or Stevens (the latter of a family which held 
]ands in Blechingley for many subsequent generations) were actually members that year, while 
John de Chevinton had been returned in 1300 and Richard de Bodekesham in 1295; Anthony at 
Solere was no doubt a relative of Michael de Solar or de Solariis, member in 1302 ; Roger Sharp, 
as already seen, had bought land in Blechingley in 1285, while Thomas Frylande was perhaps 
father of the Thomas Friland who held land in Okham in 1347, 1 and grandfather (lives were abort 
in those days) of the Walter Frelond who was rector of Blechingley in 1366. Roger le Poletor has 
already occurred as bailiff with Sharp in 1290, and Robert de Dretingburst alone seems quite a 
stranger. Tbe large number of members of Parliament is a reminder that in those days the repre- 
sentation of a borough was not a coveted distinction to be grasped at, but an onerous duty to be 
avoided, and quickly given up. 

Inq. P.M. 35 Edw. I. May 23rd, 1307. 

Joanna uxor Gilberti de Clare comitis Gloucestrie et Hertfordie conjunctim cum praedicto Gilberto viro suo 
[writ dated May 1st, 1307]. 

Inquisicio facta coram exactore apud Blacchingelegh xxviij die maii anno regni regis Edwardi xxxv to de 
terris et tenementis que fuerunt Gilberti de Clare Comitis Gloucestrie et Hertfordie et Johanne uxoris eius in 
Comitatu Surrie die quo pred'tus Gilbertus obiit per sacramentum Rogeri Sharp, Rogeri le Moyne, Michaelis 
atte Solere, Gilberti le Longe, Ricardi de Bodeksham, Johannis le fferour, Johannis [. . . .], a Johaimis de 
Chevynton, Roberti de Dretingburst, Rogeri le Poletor, Thome Frylende, et Roberti Stephene. Qui dicunt 
per sacramentum suum quod predictus Gilbertus et Johanna tenuere die quo predictus Gilbertus obiit in 
Comitatu predicto manerium de Blachingelegh cum burgo ibidem, manerium de Okham, quasdam terras et 
quedam tenementa in Tychescie, Chepstede, Waldyngham, Camberwell, Tyllir.gdoune de domino rege in capite 
tanquam membra honoris de Clare. Et dicunt quod sunt apud Blacchinglegh duo capitalia messuagia que 
valent per annum vij s. Sunt ibidem duo parci qui valent per annum cum pannagio quaudo acciderit vij li. 
Sunt ibidem duo molendina unum aquatieum uuum ad ventum et valent per annum ixs. Sunt ibidem xxxiij 


Acre prati que valent per annum xxxiij s. pretium acre xij d. Sunt ibidem ccc iiij xviij acre terre arabilis 
quarum clx iij acre valent per annum iiij li. xviij d. pretium acre vj d. Et cc xxxv acre valent per annum 
Iviij s. ixd. pretium acre iij d. Summa xvj li. ix s. iij d. Sunt ibi x li. vs. iij d. de Redditu assiso per annum. 
Item sunt ibidem xvij vomeres de Redditu per annum que valent viij s. .vj d. pretium vomerisvid. Opera 
custumaria cum consuetudine quod vocatur Parkselver valent per annum xiv li. xvs. ij d. ob. quadrans. Sunt 
ibidem xliiij s. iij d. de firma quorundam tenementorum, sic traditur, ad firman per annum. Placita et pcrquisita 
curie ibi valent per annum cum commuui fine xx s. 

Summa xxviij li. xiij s. ij d. ob. quadr. 

1 IPM Hugh d'Audele, Nov. 16, 1347, Vol. IX., 61. He held one-twentieth of a knight's fee. s Damaged. 


Sunt in burgo cle Blechingley ci 8. x d. de Bedditu assiso per annum xhj s iij d. de Bedditu shopparum et 
s tallarum in foro per annum. Mercatum cum perquisitis mendinarum in festo animarum valet per annum vs. 
Placita et perquisita porjtmote ibidem talent per annum cum communi fine xiijw. iiijd. 

Summa vij li. ij s. v d. 

The inquest first recites that Gilbert and Joan held at Gilbert's death the manor of 
Blachingelegh with the borough there, the manor of Okharn, with lands and tenements in Tychseie 
(Titsev), Chepstede. Waldingham, Caniberwell and Tyllingdowne in chief of the king as of the 
Honour of Clare. 1 

£ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. 
There are two chief messuages at Blaechinglegh 
worth yearly ....... 

There are two parks worth yearly with pannage, 
when there is any ...... 

Oue water-mill and windmill, yearly 

Meadow land. 33 A. at Is 1 13 

-Arable. 1(53 A. at 077. ... 4 16 

235 „ 3rf. ... 2 18 9 





398 A. 7 3 

Total of demesne land . 431 A. 8 13 3 

Fixed rents ........ 

17 rent ploughshares at 6«\ 2 ..... 

Customary labours, including the custom called 

parkselrer ....... 

The letting of certain tenements, reported to be let 

by the year ....... 

Pleas and perquisites of court with the common 

fine yearly ....... 

Total . 

In the BOEoron. 

Fixed yearly rents . 5 10 10 

Bents of shops and stalls in the market place . 13 3 

Market with perquisites of the fair at All Saints . 5 
Fleas and perquisites of the portmote with the 

common fine ....... 134 

10 5 



14 15 


2 4 



28 13 



45 2 


£52 4 10-;- 

1^07. Of the two capital messuages one was no doubt the old court-house in the North Park; 
the other was presumably the house hi the borough let to fee farm at 2s. in 1296. Since a port- 

1 IPM, May 28, 1307. iiijd. In ttipendio fahri pro ferramentis ij earucarum per 

■ A new customary payment it seems. Cf. Crondal annum ijs. quia ferramenta iij earucarum facia sunt de 

Records, Hants Rec. Soc, I., 54 J Compotus Roll for 1248. conxuetudine," etc. Iron was costly in mediaeval days, and 

" Expenta necessaria. In calibe ad V carucut per annum the ploughshares, " de rtddifit," at Gd. were probably good 

rv$, viiid. propter siccitalem aex/atis. In V vomeribtis iij s, business by de Clare's steward. 


mote was held it is quite possible that this second house, consisting perhaps merely of a hall and 
solar where the Town Council met, was the house still known as the Hall 300 years later, where 
elections were long held, and where the village club stands to-day. 1 

The great increase in the value of the parks, more than double what it was in 1296 and con- 
siderably more than in 1262, is noticeable. Joan, as a woman not caring for sport, had no doubt 
reduced the head of deer so that the grazing was worth much more ; at least the inference seems 
that pasturage of cattle is valued in the £7 as well as the pannage for pigs. The expression " cum 
accident," "when it happens" or "when there is any " refers to the varying seasons as regards 
acorns, and suggests that the caterpillar plague, which so often strips our oak-trees in spring, and 
leaves them bare of fruit in autumn, was not unknown 600 years ago. On the South Park acorns 
must always have supplied practically all the pannage ; on the chalk of the North Park beech 
mast was perhaps almost as much a staple as acorns, but the North Park was less heavily wooded. 

In the demesne the arable land has dropped by a whole 100 acres, but the value of the better 
land has doubled (from 3d. to 6d.) and the worse land has also gone up (2d. to 3d.). Evidently 
more land had been let off. The acreage also is given with much greater particularity than the 
round figivres of 1262, and this too points to more careful farming. The meadow land remains 
stationary — actually an acre less — but has also gone up in value (8d. and 6d. to Is.). 

The fixed rents of the foreign, as was to be expected since more land was let, have gone up 
considerably (£8 10s. in 1296 to £10 15s. 3d.), while the customary labours (which including park- 
silver 8s. were £14 Ss. in 1296) are not much reduced (£13 15s. 2fc7.). Probably the 17 "rent 
ploughshares " at Gd. each represent a commutation of ploughing service, due to the reduction of 
the arable acreage in the demesne, and should therefore really come under the head of services. 
Iron was always scarce and valuable in mediaeval days, and its tender here probably marks the 
development of the local iron workings in Home, if not in the South Park. 

In the borough the fixed rents are practically the same, the shops and stalls a little down, 
while the fair profits are entered separately, but amount only to 5s. Pleas and perquisites are 
unchanged (13s. 4c?.) except that they are called "of the portmote" in place of "of the court." The 
portmote or borough court emphasizes the dignity of a borough which returned two burgesses to 
Parliament, and was held by the king's daughter. 

The total is slightly greater than that in 1296, but as the 1307 jury have taken no account of 
the Oxted, Home or Harrowsley rents, the actual total for Blechingley shews a very notable 
increase — nearly £10, although the period elapsed was but little over ten years. The careful lady 
had nursed her properly. 

1307. That same summer John le Venur died, and on June 5th was found to be seized of a 
capital messuage, 48 acres land, 1| acres meadow, and 23s. A\d. rent by the service of rendering a 
barbed arrow, worth hi., }'early at Michaelmas. 2 His son and heir John was then aged 23 and had 
livery of the property, having done fealty, on June 28th. 3 William Venator or le Venur, as already 
seen, 4 had parted with his land in Ham in 1250 or thereabouts, and there is no record of when the 
family acquired this 50 acres, but John later on doubled the size of his holding. 

In 1308 John and Alice Otte of Blachingeleye sold to Thomas and Isabell atte Wyke a messuage 
and three roods in Blechingley for £10. 5 The price points to a house of importance and clearly in 
the borough from the small amount of ground attached to it. John Otte was member for 
Blechingley in 1313, while the family of Wyk or atte Wyk were also de Clare tenants, holding the 
manor of Wyk in Worplesdon under the Honour of Gloucester from before 1279 till 1350 or 
later/' Henry de la Wyk also appears in Testa de Nevill as a tenant of the de Clares in 

1 For more about " The Hull " see Chapter VII. s Fine Rolls, under date (558). 4 See above, p. 15G. 

- IPM, 35 Edw. I,, F. 125, 1. In Edw. I., IPM, Vol. s Fines C, 228, F. 30, and S. A. C, pp. 72, 16. 

IV., 404. « V. C. H., III., 393. 

A A 


Cainberwell owning- " with his parceners " two knight's fees, 1 but the name does not recur 
in Blechingley. 

In 1311, on February 3rd, Mahil, widow of Robert de Hever, conveyed to Nicholas de Hevre 
her son or stepson, for .€20, 30 acres of land, 19 acres meadow, 3 roods of wood and 8s. 6(7. rent in 
Blechingleye and Notfeld. 

On May 27th, 1313, Richard Gyffard of Blecchyngeleghe conveyed to William and Matilda 
de Bodekesbam for 6\ marks (£4 6s. 8d.) a croft called Little Dene in Blechingley as enclosed by 
fences and ditches, with free entrance and exit beyond Gyffard's land on the north for driving and 
carting (fug and' et cariand') at will. It was freehold of the lord, and bounded on north by Giffard's 
land, on south by William Sharp's land, and extended in breadth between Nicholas de Hevre's 
land on east and Gyffard's again on w 7 est. 3 

Roger and William Sharp, John le Feron, Nicholas de Hevere, Gilbert Longe, Walter Stevene, 
all now familiar names, and Richard Inter, a new name for many generations later persistent in 
the parish, witnessed the deed. 

The following January (1314) Bartholomew Mareschal of Blecchynggelegh conveyed to 
Bartholomew Stevene a piece of enclosed land (sicut includitur) called La Denne lying between the 
land of William de Bodekesham on north and west and Richard Cabous on south and east. 
De Bodekesham's land (bought from Giffard just above) was Little Dene, and Sharp's land lay on 
the south of it. What is now known as Sharps lies south of the Place, but Sharp's land here must 
refer to Sherpismede, which lay with Lovystornes, Holloweyes and Isemongers north of the 
Godstone road, so that the Denne and Little Dene may with some certainty be identified with the 
Dennis fields of the tithe map. The ancient spelling, supposed always to be so careless, is really a 
help because it is phonetic. Thus the final "e" being sounded, denne would be spoken 
something like Dannay, which would readily become Denny and so Dennisfield in later years. 
Bartholomew March al and William de Bodekesham were two of the four assessors of the lay 
subsidy in 1332, with John atte Helde and John Ferroun, who were all assessed at Is. John and 
Henry atte Helde, John Dany, Richard Cabous, John Danyel and Giles atte Ware (who later played 
an important part in Blechingley land transactions) witnessed this deed. 4 

In 1311 s Richard de Bodekesham granted to his son John and Iseud (Iseult) his wife (probably 
as a marriage settlement) his messuage and curtilage in the borough. This house had belonged to 
Isabell (probably Richard's deceased wife), and lay between the houses of two of the witnesses 
William de Bodekesham and Gilbert le Long on east and west, Richard's own curtilage on the 
south, and the common street on the north, which seems to locate it as near Barclay's 
Bank and facing on the High Street. The other witnesses were Roger ate Garstone, 
Roger Sharp, Ralph Deubenny, John le Ferroun, Walter Stevene and Robert Michal (? short 
for Michenhale). 

The winter of 1312-13 saw two poaching incursions, perhaps on the principle of the cat being 
away, since the young earl was campaigning in Scotland and otherwise busy with all the affairs of 
the realm of which he was " Keeper "; but no doubt the heavy head of deer then in the park was 
an irresistible attraction. Anyway in February 1313 the justices were ordered to try a case 
of breaking the earl's park at Bletchingle and hunting therein without a license. The defendants 
were John, Peter and Richard de Pirle (the last styled " Master," i.e., presumably a graduate and 
probably a clerk), Ralph Vaubonai, which is perhaps Dieuboneye gone wrong, and Richard le 
Venour, described as "wardecors," with William Ladde and Ralph le Dayossone. Pirle is now 

1 V. C. H., IV., 32. < Anc. Deeds, K.O., IV, A. 8857. Seal lost: size 9J ins. X 

■ Finos C., 228, P. 31, and S. A. C, pp. 77, 7i). Sj ins. — 3i ins. 

3 Aue. Deeds, U.S., IV., A. 8858. The seal is a lion b Barrow Green deeds, dated Sunday Nov. 14, 1311. 

rampant, perhaps a de Stangrave's seal. Size 9 ins.Xl« ius. ■ P. It., Feb. 12, 1313 (598).' 




Purley ; Dieuboneye and le Venour are familiar Blechingley names ; while the William Ladde, 
whose name now first appears, was doubtless an ancestor of the "John Ladde of Hoorn/' who in the 
Carew court roll of 1522 bought Toodehams in the borough. Lc Dayessone is a new name and 
means the dey's son (daia, a dairymaid or sometimes man). 1 

John de Pirle was a man of substance, for in March 1313 with Sir John de Burstowe, Sir John 
de la Poile, Robert de Waleton, Walter de Coddestone, Roger Loges and John de West Pirle and 
others, he owed Gilbert de Clare the large sum of £200, acknowledging at the same time that he 
was responsible for that sum to his co-debtors. 2 This looks rather like a heavy fine for the park 
trespass, perhaps both for himself and the other poachers, while John de Burstowe and the others 
were his sureties. It was probably a youthful indiscretion of John de Pirle, for thirty } r ears later 
he (or a namesake) had a licence for his private oratory at Sanderstead. 3 But one of the most 
noticeable things about these park breakings is the comparatively good position of the offenders, 
among whom priests not infrequently occur. 

As for Ralph Vaubonai (or Dieuboneye) and Richard le Venour, described as " wardecors," they 
were certainly not lifeguardsmen, though Chaucer uses " wardecorps " (with a p) in this sense.' 1 The 
word means horn-bearer and implies that they were the parish hay-wards, who with blast of horn 
called the cows and cattle from their stalls in early morning down the village street to pasture on 
the common fields. They watched them there all day (and all night, too, in summer) lest they 
should break the hedges and trespass on the precious corn-land, for " hay " wardens, though inciden- 
tally they protected hay-crofts as well as corn-crops, were, in French, gardes dea haies, so hay-ward 
weds French to English to mean "hedge guards." At evening they summoned their charges once 
more by blast of horn, and the village cows (in winter, oxen also) trudged slowly home up the long 
High Street, where every cow knew its own " broad gate " to enter at, and walked in to milking. 
Piers Plowman gives the key, when in disdain of his own idleness he says " Canstow serven .... 
other (Do many other things), other have an home and be haywarde, and liggen out a nyghtes, and 
kepe my corn in my croft fro pykers and theeves ? " 5 

Only six weeks later the park was again broken : this time by Geoffrey de Bromham, Walter 
and William le Ferour, William atte Hale, Walter le Sopere, Robert and William de Maldon, 
Peter de Blaundys and Reginald atte Garstone. 6 Of these names neither de Bromham nor 
de Blaundys belong to the parish ; Simon de Blaundys was member for Reigate in 1311 ; 
Robert de Maldon will be heard of again, and his family lived for many generations in 
Blechingley ; the others are all familiar except perhaps le Sopere, which probably means the 
shopkeeper (sopa or shopet, a shop). 

These two entries are remarkable as affording the earliest instance of the spelling Bletchingle 
with a " t " — at this date an isolated example. 7 

But the young earl in whose name these complaints were made was never destined to see his 
parks or hunt his deer again. The next year, 1314, saw the disastrous defeat at Bannockburn, 
when on Midsummer's day young Gilbert fell in the forefront of the battle, and in his person died 
the last mule heir of the ancient earldoms of the de Clares. 

1 Dey is still epicene in Aberdeenshire as the person in the village herdsman. ... In the evening they were driven 

charge of a dairy. See N.E.D. back, each animal returning to its own shelter as the herd 

- C. It., March 25, 1313 (571). passed up the village street." 
3 M. and B., II., 571, in 1346. ° P. It., March 15, 1313 (600). 

* Cant. Tales, Wife of Bath, 5941. 7 However, since the extracts are taken from the printed 

5 Lsmgland, Piers Plowman, VI., 11—17, and cf. Mr. calendar of Patent rolls, the "tc" may be "cc" in the 

Prothero (Lord Ernie), English Farming, past and present, 27, originals, since even at the Record Office a letter may occa- 

where he says, " Every morning the cattle were collected, pro- sionally be misread. The volume in which they occur is dated 

bably by the sound of a hcrr, and driven to the commons by 1894. 

A A 2 


1314. The inquest consequent on his widely-lamented death was held at Blecchingelegh on 
the Friday after St. Giles day (September 1st) and once more Blechingley names are in the 
majority. Roger de Garston, Eoger Sharpe, John le Venur, John le Ferour are all well known. 
William de Bodekesham was member for Blechingley in loll and again in 1320 and 1323, while 
John, who was perhaps his son, was poaching deer in the park in 1316 and 1317, and John, 
perhaps the grandson, represented the borough in several Parliaments between 1355 and 1371. 
Bodekesham or Bodesham, now Bottisham (pronounced Botsam), lies half-way between Cambridge 
and Newmarket. It was Giffard property in 1086 and was part of the share taken by earl Richard 
de Clare when he and his cousin Isabel Marshall were left co-heirs of all the Giffard lands. The 
name seems to mean the home of Bodeca, a not very uncommon Saxon name,' and hence no doubt 
the Blechingley Bodekeshams hailed. 

I.P.M. 8 Edward II. Friday after St. Giles (September 1st), 1314. 

[Iuquisicio facta] apud Blecchingelegh die Veneris proxima post festum sancti Egidii abbatis anno [regni 
regis Edwardi filii Edvvardi octavo de terris et tenementis que fuerunt Gilberti de Clare comitis Gloucestrie et 
Hertfordie que] tenuit de domino Rege [in comitatu Surrie die quo predictus Gilbertus obiit] per sacra- 
mentum Eogeri de Garston, Eogeri Sharpe, Johannis le Venur [•..], "Willielmi de Bodekesham, Johannis de 
Bodekesham, Johannis le Feroun, Eoberti Stephene, Willielmi ate Helde [ . . . ] qui dicunt per sacramentum 
suum quod predictus comes tenuit manerium de Blechingelegh cum burgo ibidem in dotninico [suo ut de feodo 
de Domino Eege] in capite tanquam membrum Honoris de Clare et per quod servitium ignorant. Et dicunt 
quod sunt ibidem duo [capitalia messuagia que valent per annum ultra] reprisas vij s. Et dicunt quod sunt 
ibidem in dominico cccc xvij acre terre arabilis quarum cc acre valent per annum [c s. pretium acre vi d. et 
cc xv] ij acre terre valent per annum livs. iij d. pretium acre iij d. Et dicunt quod sunt ibidem xxxi acre et 
j roda prati [quarum xiij acre valent per annum xix s. vi d.] pretium acre xviij d. et xviij acre et j roda valent 
per annum ivs. ij d. ob pretium acre xd. Et sunt ibidem duo [parci qui valent per annum ultra reprilsas 
xiij s. ivd. et non plus quia fere bestie ibidem pascebant et valet pannagium earundem cum acciderit c s. Et 
[est ibidem unum molendinum aquatic] um quod valet per annum ultra reprisas x s. Et dicunt quod sunt 
ibidem de redditu assiso per annum xli. vs. iijd. Et [sunt ibidem xvij vomeres de] redditu que valent per 
annum viij s. vi d. per vomeremvid. Et dicunt quod opera custumaria ibidem valent per annum cum con- 
suetudine [que vocatur Parksilver] xivli. xv s. ij d. ob. quadr. Et dicunt quod est quedam pecia terre in 
Okestede que valet xxvi s. viij d. Iielevia [herietti placita et] perquisita curie cum cominuni fine '9 visas 
franci plegii valent per annum xx s. 

Suinma xliij li. xiv s. xid. quadr. 

[Et dicunt quod sunt] in Burgo de redditu assiso vli. xiij s. vij d. Stallagium mercati cum perquisitis 
nundinarum tollnetum per annum [valent xv s.] Placita et perquisita portmote cum commuui fine die visus 
franci plegii valent per annum xiij s. iiij d. 

Summa vij li. xxiij d. 

The jury make the usual statement about the tenure being in chief of the king, as of the 
Honour of Clare, but by what service they know not. There are there, they proceed : — 

Two chief messuages worth yearly beyond reprises 
In demesne there are : 

Arable, 200 acres at Gd. .... 
217 „ 3d 

£ s. d. 

£ s. 


£ s. d. 


2 14 3 

7 14 


417 acres. 
Hailstone's Hist, of Bottisham, 1-2 (1873, for Cambridgo Antiqu. Soc), and <■]'. Scark's Onom. Sax. 


Brought forward 
Pasture, 13 acres at 1 s. G</. . 
IS} „ lOd. . 

£ *. 


£ s. d. 

7 14 



19 G 

15 2i 

1 14 


O R 11 

31 \ acres. 
Total demesne 448| acres. 

There are two [parks worth yearly, beyond reprises] 

(and no more because deer feed there) 
Pannage on them, when it happens, is worth 

[A -water mill] 

Pixed rents 

[17 plough shares of] rent at 6 d. a plough share . 
Customary works with the custom called [parksilver] . 
A piece of land in Okstede worth yearly 
Beliefs [heriots], pleas, perquisites of court with the 

common fine on the day of the view of frank pledge, 

yearly ......... 100 

In the borough : 

Pixed rents 5 13 7 

Market stalls with perquisites of the fair ... [0 15 0] 

Pleas and perquisites of portmote and common fine at 

the view 13 4- 

7 1 11 

13 4 


5 13 



10 5 




11 15 


1 G 


£50 1G 10i 
This roll is much damaged ; the words in square brackets [ ] are missing and supplied from comparison 
with other extents. 

The demesne land is slightly bigger ; the value of the arable is the same (6d. and 3d. per 
acre), but a larger proportion of it is worth the higher figure. The meadow land has again slightly 
shrunk (31£ acres against 33 acres in 1307 and 34 acres in 1296), but the value of the best land is 
much enhanced (from Is. to Is. 6d.) ; it is apparently more accurately assessed and shews a slight 
rise in total value despite the fall in acreage. The parks afford a sad instance of " land under 
deer." The whole pasturage on over 3000 acres is valued at one mark because of the " wild beasts " 
("fera bestia " is the regular mediaeval term for red deer) which depasture there. The pig feeding 
has, however, increased in value ; the deer were not allowed all the acorns, and with a growing popu- 
lation, both human and porcine in the parish, the demand for pannage had no dotibt gone up. The 
windmill has dropped out again ; perhaps they were not very skilful at repairs to what was probably 
still looked at as rather a new-fangled invention. Fixed rents, customary services and rent plough- 
shares are all unaltered, and the land at Oxted reappears. Reliefs, etc., make an imposing list, but 
it seems much cry and little wool, for their appearance has not swelled the 1307 total of 20s. by a 

In the borough the items are practically the same as in 1307, save that the profits of the fair 
seem not to have been thought worth a separate heading. In fact the period of seven years between 
the two inquests is too short to allow of much difference, especially since Gilbert was only 15 in 
1307. But the total, if the Oxted land be excluded, shews a drop of £2 14s. 8^d. as compared with 
the 1307 value, and this is almost entirely due to the deer in the parks. 



Deeds and Notices — continued. I. — The le Venours. A Norman French Petition. The Lay 
Subsidy of 1332 ; estimated population. Earliest Notices of Pendell Manor. 

1314. In the year of Bannockburn John and Matilda Pukelyn conveyed to William de 
Hallinsbury o\ acres of land in Bletchinggeleghe and Caterham, for which William gave them one 
sore sparrow-hawk (esperraratm sorum), i.e., a hawk of the first year which has still its red 
"sorel" plumage, or perhaps which has already taken its flight (essor, and so to soar). 1 It is an 
interesting and not uncommon survival of payment in kind in feudal days, and the young bird, 
though onh^ a sj>arrow-hawk, and therefore less highly priced than a true falcon, would be of 
considerable value. The names are new : Halingbury was later a reputed manor in Caterham held 
with Porkele (Portley), Upwode, Gatiers, and Caterham itself by the duke of Buckingham at his 
execution in 1521. 2 

Ln 1318 William Godot (the name is also spelt God wot) of Bleachmgleghe conveyed his 
messuage with curtilage at Chevyngton, which he had inherited from his father Henry, to John, 
son of Robert Scharp. It is described as lying in length south of the high road from Blecchyng' to 
Wolknestede and north of Robert Scharp's land, and in breadth west of Robert Scharp's land and 
east of William Chertman's land. 3 From this it clearly appears that Robert Scharp held what was 
then or later called Isemongers (Water House farm), where he has left his name to the 
Sherpismede, which Henry Brampton conveyed with Isemongers Lovystornes, Holoweys and le 
Goorys to the Chamletts in 1528. Thus Godot's holding was only the steading of Chivington with 
no land to speak of, the curtilage comprising the site of the old Saxon hall or manor house, 
probably marked to this day by the ditch with its ancient rough stone walling beside the present 
approach road to Chivington. 

The Sharps or Scharps were a considerable family at this time in the parish : Robert Sharp 
holding Water House; his son John, who was perhaps now being married, settling next door 
at Chivington ; while William and Roger Scharp, the former holding land adjoining Little 
Dene, were both tenants of the manor and witnesses to Giffard's sale to de Bodekesham in 1313. 

1323. William Sharp moreover had a suit against John Sharp and John de Gay sham about 
53 acres of land in Blecchyngeleye, when in the summer of 1323 John, described as the son 
of Roger Sharp (which is perhaps a mistake for Robert, unless there were three families of Sharp 
in the parish), was unable to appear, being on the king's service — very likely wealing some of the 
armour for which, as will be seen, the borough was taxed. Order accordingly issued for the 
justices to hold him excused, 1 and nothing further is known of the action ; but John de Gayesham 
was assessed for 3s. in the lay subsidy of 1332, when Robert Sharp was assessed at 5«. 

De Gaysham was one of the first two recorded members for Blechingley in 1295, when, like his 
predecessors and successors, he doubtless represented the great de Clare interest — the raison d'etre 
of the borough. Gaysham is a manor in Cudham, not far from Tatsfield, and in Westerham 
parish on the south slope of the chalk hills is a farm still called Gaysham. After Bannockburn 

1 N.E.D. Fays "Now called a red liable," but when " Fines C, 228, F. 33, and S. A. C, pp. 80, 12G. 

Spenser wrote " Of tbe soaie faulcon, so I learn to fly," he 8 13. M. Add. MSS. 21,548. 

seems to suggest "essor." * C. R., Nov. 10, 1323 (121). 


de Gaysliam had lands and tenements of the last earl committed to his custody valued at 46s. lid. 
yearly in Edenbridge, 1 and his land dealings in Blechingley appear later on. 

Another Venur inquest was held before Lady day 1324, when John le Venter, who had died at 
Christmas, was found to have held a messuage, 92 acres of land, 26 acres of wood and 11 acres of 
meadow, with 21s. 6d. rent by the annual service of a halfpenny barbed arrow; his son and heir 
William, aged 16, had done fealty and was to have livery, reserving dower to Margaret his 
mother. 2 D'Audley was forfeited at this time, so the Honour of Clare was in the king's hands. 
This William le Venour seems to have got rid of his Blechingley inheritance, or perhaps leased it, 
for he does not appear in the lay subsidy for 1332, though he appears in the list of Pendell tenants 
whose services were conveyed to Edmund de Coventre in 1336. This does not imply any social 
descent, because, of course, the service was due from the holding, not from the individual owner, 
and it is improbable he lived on it himself ; moreover, in 1343 William le Venour (presumably the 
same man, then 35 years old) with his wife Agnes bought a house with 3 virgates of land, 4 acres 
meadow, 10 acres wood and 12s. rent in Crowhurst of John and Margery de Gaynesford for 
£20, 3 while later, as will be seen, the Venours held half a knight's fee in Blechingley. 

At midsummer 1318 Eustace and Agnes Crullyng for 10 marks (£6 13s. 4d.) sold a messuage 
and shop in Blechingeleye to Robert de Meldon. 4 Two Crollings, Richard and Eustace, have 
already appeared as witnesses to an undated deed of c. 1235, 5 and the family at one time held 
Poundhill (the 32 acres lying north and south of the railway bridge, which with an adjoining 
15 acres in Burstow, extending to Bransland wood, and the Burstow Park pale were owned by 
Martin Agate in 1841). An abstract of title to that property beginning in 1759° has preserved the 
old and long forgotten alias of "Churlings" for Poundhill, which seems an undoubted echo of 
Eustace Crulling and his family. They appear also in Burstow, for " Crullings " was the old name 
of Smallfield Place, 7 and in 1408 William and Elizabeth Crulling sold to Richard Wakekerst a house 
and several hundreds of acres of land in Home and Burstow. 8 But Crullings appear no more in 
Blechingley, and the Churlings of 1808 is a solitary instance of the name. 

The purchaser, Robert de Meldon (Maldon), was assessed in 1332 for 4s., when John de Maldon 
was assessed at 2s. Gd., and Maldons held land at Pendell where, as will be seen, Katherine Maiden 
still owned property in 1451. Robert himself seems to have been a man of some importance, a tax 
gatherer, and as such obnoxious to the usual suggestion of dishonesty. The following Norman 
French petition from the borough tells the tale : 9 — 

A nostr seyngr le Eoi ct a son consail mostrant la comine del Bourgh de Blecchyngleigh et lui plcgugneut 
q la ou Eobert de Maklone and Nicliole de Kelmeresford de Blecchyngleigh furent assiguets quillos de 
certeyue sunmie darget en la dite Bourgh a les eops nre seyngr le Eoi cest a saver as armures de certeyn 
gents a pfic en les svices nre seygr le Eoi la omit les avandits Eobert et Nicliole p leur covyne quilletz en la 
dite Bourgh XIIII marks saimtz garaunt les quels XIII1 marcs sunt par eux emblesiles sauntz profit a nre 
seyngr le Eoi. de quei eux p'ent remedie. 

(Endorsed.) So lt bref fait a faire venir les dits Eobt. et Nichol devant le Eoi a c'tein jour a rcspondre 
au Eoi et as gents de la dite ville des choses eotenues en ceste peticion. 

"A petition to our lord the king and council shewing the complaint of the commune of the Borough of 

1 Originaliu Rolls, 8 Edw. II. (215). 20 acres meadow, 200 acres pasture, 120 acres wood and GOs. 

- IPM, Edw. II., f. 81 (If,), and Fine Eolls, March 7 rent in Home, Lingfield, Wolkstede and Burstow, together 

and 25, 1324 (270). with all homages and services of Philip Seyntcler, Knight, and 

:l 229, P. 47, and S. A. C, Pines, pp. 113, 39. Margaret his wife, Thomas Salman, John Allfray, Walter and 

* Pines 228, P. 31, and S. A. C, pp. 36, 227. John ate Hoke, etc. Hut of course the acreages staled in 

* See p. 153. lines cannot he taken as accurate. So long as the land specified 
6 Sir II y. Lambert's papers. 7 M. and 13., II., 285. was not less in area than that actually being dealt with, the 
8 Pines 290, P. 61, S. A. C, pp. 225, 125. For 200 marks clerk gave a fairly free rein to his imagination. 

they " handed over in court " 1 messuage, 4 carucates of land, 9 Ancient Petitions, 4518. 


Blecchyngleigh tlint whereas Eobert de Maldon and Nicholas de Kelmersford were appointed collectors 
(quillours) of a certain sum of money in the said borough for the use of our lord the king, to wit for the 
accoutrements [armour included weapons and warlike provision of all kinds] of certain persons about to set 
forth [proficer=pro/7 c/sct] on the service of our lord the king, the aforesaid Eobert and Nicholas have, by their 
collusive collection in the said borough 14 marks [£9 Gs\ 8d.] without warrant, which 14 marks have been by 
them embezzled without profit to our lord the king. For which they [the burgesses] pray remedy." 

The endorsement states that Robert and Nicholas were summoned to answer in court to this 
charge, but no record has been found of the result. No date is given, but it was perhaps soon 
after the king himself had been at Blechingley, where his appearance may have suggested to the 
inhabitants a direct petition as a means of redress. It was in the autumn of 1825 that Edward II. 
paid his visit. He was at Dover September 6th — 14th; at Leeds Castle 15th — 17th; September 21st 
at Withyham ; at Maresfield 22nd — 30th ; at Chiddingly on October 1st ; at Grinstead and 
Maresfield on October 4th; at Blechingley on October 5th ; at "Greenstead" again on October 6th 
and also at Banstead (which seems odd, and shews probably that the dating of royal letters cannot 
always be trusted to prove an exact itinerary), and at Westminster on October 9th. 1 He therefore 
can have spent only one daj r at Blechingley, and perhaps did not lie the night there at all ; the 
castle was doubtless quite ruinous, but he might have stayed at the capital messuage on the North 
Park. These years were very troublous : Hugh d'Audley, lord of the manor, had been deprived of 
all his lands in 1321 2 and Hugh le Dispenser taken back into favour. D'Audley was in prison in 
1322 after the battle of Boroughbridge, when Badlesmere, lord of Leeds castle, was hanged at 
Canterbury, and Clifford and Mowbray at York. But the barons proved too strong for Edward, 
and the Dispensers were eventually both executed in the autumn of 1326, one year after Edward's 
visit to Blechingley. D'Audley's sequestration was then annulled by Parliament, and order issued 
for the restitution of all his lands on February 1st, 1327, 3 ten days after Edward II.'s violent 

But the new reign was far from immediately putting a stop to the disorders of the realm, 
which continued until the execution of Mortimer in 1330; Tandridge Hundred was no exception 
and Blechingley not free from bloodshed. On December 8th, 1329, Bishop Stratford was taking- 
steps for " the reconciliation of the church of Blecchinglegh polluted by the effusion of blood," and 
a few months later, on May 8th, a longer letter 1 directed an enquiry to be held by the Archdeacon 
of Surrey forthwith to find out how and by whose fault the pollution occurred. Lucy de Cobham 
and Alice wife of Geoffrey de Hadresham, alleged to be the guilty parties, had, the letter recites, 
already appeared before the bishop's commissaries in the district, when, " after length}' altercation?," 
Alice said she would and Lucy said she would not, accept their finding; but finally both agreed to 
accept that of the archdeacon, if appointed specially by the bishop. Lucy de Cobham was 
apparently a single woman and no doubt a member of the great family who owned Sterborough in 
Lingfield. The Hadresham s seem through the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries to have been a 
numerous and somewhat turbulent lot, rather given to breaking the peace of Blechingley. Whether 
the blood-letting bad been a serious affray between the servants of the ladies, or whether they had 
fallen on each other with finger-nails and perhaps knives, is not said, but the letter " Sanguinis 
effu8ione per ijpsas, ut diciiur, facta " suggests on the face of it the simplest suffragette methods. 
As usual, no further record is found of the affair, and the ladies' quarrel is left in tantalising 
obscurity ; but no doubt the church was " reconciled " with a special service of re-dedication, when 

1 J'inc K. (863, 365) ; also C. ]>• (406), aud P. It.. 170, Marshall, named special commissioner, on April 2, and his lands 

under dates. Cf. Hartsbome's Itinerary of Edw. II. (privately had been taken over before April 25. P. It., under dates 

printed), 1861. (572 and 578). ' 0. It., Feb. 1, 1327 (27). 

* lie was judged by Thomas, earl ol Norfolk iiud Earl * Stratford, 47 and 51. 


the guilty and penitent party probably stood at the chancel step holding a lighted taper, while most 
of the parish assisted at the ceremonial. 

Tn 1828 William Smyth of Bullokfielde conveyed three pieces of land, about six acres, called 
Pightlakes to John and Katherine Isemonger and their children, with remainder, failing them, to 
their own heirs, 1 which suggests that Katherine was an only child just married to Isemonger. 
There was a small parcel of glebe land containing half acre called the Pightle 3 in the extreme north 
of the parish by Longlands, just above what is now Wellers ; but Pightle is a not unusual name for 
a small enclosure and occurs also on Sandhills farm. Moreover the six acres is described as lying 
between Brodmede on the west and Mabellesfeld on the east "as set out by metes and bounds." 
Brodmede was almost entirely on what is now the upper "parkland" of Sandhills, in which case 
Mabel's field (the Mabel unknown 3 ) would be the same as Merry field alias Middle tye mead, 
"Merry" being a corruption of mere, maer, or meare, the boundary stones here mentioned, so 
that the Pightlakes would be three small enclosures roughly represented by Long Sandhill on the 
tithe map. The deed was executed at Blechinglie on May 11th, 1328; it is not of t< -n that the place 
of sealing is given, and it is the more remarkable in this case as the witnesses', William Smyth, 
William Wattes, John Ponce, William Masefelde and Thomas Browne are, except the ubiquitous 
Smith, not found in the parish. William Smyth was presumably another Smith, as the settlor 
would not witness his own deed. 

Another de Bodekesham deed 4 occurs in 1332 when William granted to his daughter Margery 
(presumably unmarried as no other name is given) his burgage lying in the borough of Blechin^elegh 
between the highway leading through the middle of the borough on the south, and the curtilage of 
John Cullehole (a new and non -recurring name) on the north. This house William had lately by 
lease (dimissione) of Eobert Michel, who was a witness to Richard de Bodekesham's deed in 1311, 
but was probably dead by this date as he does not appear in the lay subsidy. William le Venour, 
Ralph Deuboneye, John le Feroun, John de Bodekesham, Bartholomew Marchal, William Dikere and 
Giles atte Ware were witnesses, of whom the last has already appeared in 1314 and was soon to 
play an important part in Blechiugley land dealings. 

This year 1332 occurred the Lay Subsidy, already often referred to, which has pre- 
served lists of taxpayers invaluable for local history. The Blechiugley list was printed by 
Mr. Leveson Gower in 1871, G but it has here been revised from the original, englished for 
convenience and extended ; while since surnames were at this date still largely personal and 
not yet " familiar," an attempt is made to distinguish their origins as in the earlier com- 
piled list. 

All the boi - oughs in the county, viz., Burgus de Gulford, Villa de Kyngeston, Burgus de 
Reygate, Burgus de Suthwark, Burgus de Blechinglegh, come first on the roll, 7 and afterwards 
follow the townships, villate, arranged in their hundreds. The boroughs paid a tenth, the 
townships a fifteenth. The heading runs : — 

" Taxation of one-tenth granted by the laymen in the county of Surrey to the lord king in the 6th year 
of the reign of King Edward, third after the Conquest, by John Dabernoun and William de Westone, assessors 
(taxatores), and collected in the same county by commission of the lord king." 

1 B. M. Add. MSS., 24,549. alas for his ktinity. But the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- 

2 " The Bounds," 1680. turies have been much slandered in the matter of education, 
:) In 1343 Walter Deuboneye, furmager, founded a and such mistakes are comparatively rare. 

chantry for his parents "William and Mabil. Perhaps Mabil 6 S. A. C, V., 261-2. 

Deuboneye held this field in dower. < Kingston, it will be seen, is not called burgus, but villa, 

* Barrow Green deeds, dated May 23, 1332. for which see above, p. 172. Gatton was not yet a borough. 

' " Totum illud burgag'm meu'jooentem," writes the clerk, 

B B 



Borough of Blecchyngelegh. 1 
s. d, 

John de Gaysharn b . 

"William Dykere a 

"Roger atte Ponde b . 

Ealph Deubenoye (d'Aubigny) b 

Bichard Josekyn (? little Joseph) 

Bichard Le Vine a . 

"William Belogarnbe (or Belograrabe ; 

not clear) c 
William le Nywernan c 
Bobert de Maldone b 
John de Bodekesham b 
John le Mastim c 

it is 

Bichard Cabous a 
"William Skret c 
John de Maldon b 
Nicholas atte Mulle (the miller) b 
Bichard atte Helde (at Hill) b . 
■John atte Helde b . 
William de Bodekesham 



I John Ferroun a 

L Bartholomew Marchal 

Total of the whole borough of Bletchyngel' 
when it is taxed 

[20 names.] 

Hugh Daudele 3 (d'Audley) 
Bobert ate Boude b 
John le Tanner a 
Bichard ate Hamme b 
Bobert Sharp c 
Walter Funke c 
Denis (Dionis) at Fonde 
John Fyke c . 
John Underheld b . 
John le Muleward a 
Balph de Upwode b 
William ate Hoke b 

Foreign (Villata) of Blecchyngelegh. 2 








William de Bullukfeld b . 
William Pionte ? c . 
Cristina Holewey b . 
Lawrence Holewey . 
William Campe (? the Hill camp) 
Bobert de Stanegrave b . 


s. d. 

. 3 

. 3 

. 2 6 

. 5 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 

. 1 



. 44 6 


s. d. 

. 2 8 

. 2 

. i n 

. 1 

. 4 

. 5 9£ 


18 names in Foreign 
20 „ „ Boro. 


74 6^ 

44 6 


[Grand Total . £5 19 0£] 

With this list should be compared, the following list of tenants owing service, which occurs in 
the conveyance of 13s. 4d. rent in Blecchyngelegh by Peter and Alice de Thorne to Edmund de 
Coventre in the quinzain of Michaelmas 1336, dated at York. 4 Edmund paid 20 years' purchase 
(20 inarks), and for this he acquired " the said rent with purtenances together with the homage and 
all services " of those named and of their heirs, and all the tenements which they had held of the 
said Peter and Alice in the said township. The names are : — 

5 Ralph Aunger b. 
William Stonhard ? c. 
William Ferour a. 
Adam Chaunctour ? a. 
John Dendy d. 
Bobert atte Stokke b. 
Benedict de Bullouckeffeld 
William Smyth a. 
William le Venur a. 


William de Bodekesham 
John de Bodekesham b. 
John Ferour a. 
William Belegaumbe c. 
William atte Helde b. 
John de Calvetone b. 
John Danyel d. 
Walter Newweman c. 
William Spisour a.° 

1 As in the compiled lint for 1230—40 the names are divided into classes: a, trade or occupation, 5 ; b, place names, 7; 
c, nicknames or personal characteristics, 4; d, patronymics, 1. Duplicates are not counted in any of the lists. 

2 a, trade or occupation, 2 ; b, place, 9 ; c, nickname or personal characteristics, 4 ; d, patronymics, 0. 

3 S. A. C. here f,'ivf.s " Sandele," which is quite clearly an error. Perhaps Mr. Leveson Gower did not himself transcribe this 
list, which is not so accurate. 4 Fines 220, F. 45, and S. A. C, p. 106, 12. 

' a, trade or occupation, 4; b, place, 3; c, nickname or personal characteristic, 1 ; d, patronymic, 2. 
» Fines 220, P. 45, and 8. A. C, p. 106, 12. 


Taking the 1332 lay subsidy first : the assessor John d'Abernoun or Daberon was the third of 
that name in successive generations, and was great-grandson to that Gilbert who bad eventually 
succeeded to the lands of tbe Walter d'Abernon, whose son Ingram died childless in 1235, as 
already related. John Dabernoun the grandfather had the custody of Lewes castle and all 
de Warenne's and William de Valence's lands in Sussex after the battle of Lewes, and was sheriff 
for Surre} r and Sussex in 1264. 1 His son John, born in 1253, was member for Reigate in 1298 and 
again in 1309 to 1313 and died in 1327. The third John, the assessor of this subsidy with John 
de Weston, had sat with de Weston for Reigate in 1330, and the latter sat in three more parliaments, 
of which the last was in 1336. This John the third married Maud, daughter and heir of William 
Giffard, and left a son William who married a Uvedale. It was the first of the three Johns who 
most probably, as will be seen, held land in Blechingley. 

Of the 20 names in the borough list that of John de Gay sham, who heads it, appears in the 
Parliament rolls as member for the borough six times between 1295 (the first parliament recorded) 
and 1330. Manning also gives William de Bodekesham and John Gaysham as members in 1340 
when the rolls are silent.* This seems almost too long a period for one life of active service in those 
days, and perhaps there was a nephew of the same name, if the 1340 return is correct. Alice, wife 
of Peter de Thorn e who sold the land with tenants' services in 1336 to Edmund de Coventre, was 
daughter and one of the heirs of John de Gaysham, as appears from the inquest ad quod damnum, 
held about the sale, in 1343, when de Gaysham was certainly dead ; while the fact of Alice selling 
the land suggests that she had already inherited from her father in 1336. In 1332 de Gaysham 
was rated at 3s. only, which it Avill be noticed shews a very easy calculation of the tenth, since his 
income was at least 40s. or 3 marks. Of this rent he sold two marks after 1332 to Giles atte Ware, 
while his daughter Alice sold the third mark to de Coventre in 1336 ; and this division of 
de Gaysham's property, which (as will be seen presently) was Pendell, is of great importance in the 
future history of that manor. 

Of the other names, Dykere, pronounced Dicker, is the hedger and ditcher — a ditch is still a 
" dick " in Surrey and Sussex. 

Atte Ponde perhaps had his burgage in Castle Square close by the manorial pound, or perhaps 
it means at Pendell (see under the foreign list). 

Josekyn is new; William Josekyn was member in 1362, but otherwise the name does not 
recur. It seems to mean son of Joseph, little Joseph. 

Le Vine, already recorded a century before, does not recur ; it perhaps represents a Gascon 

Belog(r)ambe (the doubtful "r" is clearly a mistake) is the first appearance of a family which 
as Beljambe, lived on the Pendell property for many generations ; presumably it started as a 
nickname, " Lovely legs," more probably derisive (for very bandy legs perhaps) than for special 

Le Nywman (Newman) shews how few and far between strangers were who did not come, like 
the Bodekeshams or the Maldons, from some place known at least by hearsay. 

Le Mastim is a nickname too; perhaps matin, the mastiff or house-dog. 

Cabous is latinized as Cabanus in the Parliament rolls, the cabin man or sailor. 

Skret probably represents the curious and difficult name of the family which lived where 
Pendell (Glyd's house) now stands. In the Pendell rolls it appears as Schriches (pronounced no 
doubt Shreeches or Screeches) and Schirches and Schyches ; and one feels impelled to derive 
it from a voice like a peacock ; Schrichen is to shriek. 3 

1 P. E., June 8, 1264 (323), and ibid., July 18, 1264 2 M. and B. (II., 292) took their list from Tanner's 

(363). Notitia. 3 Stratmann, s.v. 

B B 2 


Atte Mulle suould be the miller, but his large assessment was due no doubt to bis being a 
considerable farmer more than from profits on the mill, which ordinarily would be perquisites of 
the lord, or would be let at a full "farm." 

Atte Helde means at the Hill, just as Underhelde is Underhill, held (dat. Helde) being a 
common form of hill. 1 

Of the eighteen names in the " foreign," Hugh d'Audley, lord of the manor in right of his 
wife, stands first and pa}*s by far the largest amount (10s.), the next highest being 6s. 8d. He is 
rated in the foreign (for the Place), not in the borough it will be noticed, suggesting that the 
castle was not habitable. 

Atte Ponde must, it would seem, mean at the enclosure, and perhaps gives the clue to the 
meaning of Pendhill. Mr. Leveson Gowers transcript gives Robert ate Pende and Denis ate 
Ponde, but the original seems to have an C( o," not an " e," in both cases. Nevertheless, since two 
ate Pendes occur in 1296, it is not unreasonable to suppose Ate Ponde to be the same name. The 
english tongue of that day pronounced words much more like French than modern english, and 
Pond might well represent the scribe's phonetic spelling. But of course Pound House, by 
Chivington, and Poundhill both occur in the parish. 

Le Tanner provides the first mention of the trade which subsequently became the most 
important in the parish, and appropriately enough the assessment is one of the highest. 

Fyke is perhaps a variation of Funcke, of Funks bridge mead by Whitepost. The oldest 
meaning of Funk seems to be a spark or fire, but it is a doubtful word ; the sense of stink came 
later, and was applied especially to tobacco smoke, while that of fear is not found till the 
eighteenth century. 

Underheld may well be the tenant of the Castle Farm under the hill, the Underhyll of 1523. 

Le Muleward has probably no connection with mules, but is merely Millward, the tenant of 
Ivy Mill. 

Upwode means the covert on the hill, and is now Tupwood in Caterham, of which some part 
was in the manor of Blechingley and within the North Park pales. The "t" has been added in 
front of it from men being called John or William atte Upwood, 2 and it was Tupwood in the Court 
Roll of 1680. 

Ate Hoke may have come originally from Hook House by Outwood Common in Burstow, or 
from Hookstile in Godstone, at the south-eastern corner of the South Park. Le Hook, like le Gore, 
is so common a field name for a piece of land running into a common or otherwise of pointed shape 
that Blechingley is almost peculiar in not having one of its own. 

Of the eighteen names in the 1336 list of " tenants owing service," it may be noticed that only 
four appear in the assessment for the lay subsidy and all of them in the borough, viz., the two 
de Bodekeshams, John Ferour and William Belejambe ; so clearly none of these Pendell holdings 
was of sufficient importance to be assessed separately. Indeed the whole rent of 13s. Ad. among 
eighteen averages barely dd. apiece ; but the parcels of land were small, and it shews that already 
the services had been mostly commuted. 

Of names so far unnoticed among them is Aunger, which does not persist; he was perhaps a 
Frenchman from Anjou, and this would account for his not appearing in the 1332 subsidy. He 
sold land for 100 marks, and probably left the parish, in 1343. 

Stonhard (the stone-hard man P) had disappeared before 1451, but left his name to a house and 
land close to Pendell Court, thou held by the widow of a Beljambe, and Stonhards it still was well 
into the eighteenth century. 

Chaunctour would mean the singer, but Chauncler's field at the north end of Pendell property, 
considered with Le Cancelar in the thirteenth century, suggests that the " t" is a mistake for "1." 

1 Slratmann, a. v. 2 Cf. Toolcy Street, at London Bridge, corrupted from St. Olave. 


Dendy is a solitary occurrence in the parish, and the name is a rhyming form of Andrew. 

Atte Stokke lived presumably on Stocklands on the Merstham Lane, the site of the old 
fulling mill. 

De Bulloulccffeld has already appeared in the early thirteenth century and in the 1262 inquest ; 
it seems the family held land on what is now Town Farm, and also on the west side of Brewer 
street. William Smyth described himself as " of Bullockfield " when he settled land on the 
Isemongers in 1328, and Benedict de Bullokfeld was a Pendell tenant before 1408. 

William Le Venur was now 28 years old, and he has already been dealt with above. William 
de Bodekesham had bought Little Dene in 1313; his brother John's land is unknown. 

Ferur left his name, which means the blacksmith or farrier, at Ferur's hill on Stichens, north 
of the village. 

Belejambe was a Pendell tenant undoubtedly, and a Bel jamb held Chart land " 10 acres lying 
next the common M in 1451. 

Atte Helde, as already said, means at the hill; here presumably Whitehill, or perhaps Pendhill, 
but of course the name is inconclusive. 

De Calvetone means of Chaldon, adjoining the north of the Pendell property (in fact the name 
Shastisfont applies to land held under Pendell, both in Blechingley and Chaldon. 

John Danyel is a new name, but in 1350 he bad over 100 acres of land in Blechingley and 
Caterham settled on him. No doubt his father's christian name was Daniel. 

Newweinan was a Pendell tenant, and the tenement called Newmans' was held under Pendell 
by a John Colpatt from 1451 — 1519. 

Spisour, Vepicier, the grocer, does not occur again, but the tenement called Spycers, doubtless 
named from him, was Pendell property. 

But before taking the Pendell question further, these three lists deserve more study from a 
broader point of view. They give a total of 52 householders (Borough, 20; foreign 18, and Pendell 
tenants 18, less 4 who appear also in the borough list). The actual names however are only 
42 when repetitions are deducted, Funke and Fyke, Ferour and Feroun, and all three atte Pondes 
being treated as repetitions. 

Of these, class A, Trades or occupation, claim . . . .11 

Class B. Place names (including mere locality generally shewn by 

atte instead of de) 2 ......... 20 

Class C. Nicknames and personal characteristics .... 8 

Class D. Patronymics, only ........ 3 


It is curious that the only three patronymics, Josekyn, Dendy and Daniel are all merely forms 
of christian names, no doubt the father's, tacked on to the common christian names of Richard 
and John for distinction's sake ; but though the number is small, it should be noticed that they 
form a new class, for there were actually none in the list of 37 names compiled for 1230 — 50, when 
trade and place names claimed 1G and 15, and nicknames 6. In the fourteenth century trade 
names yield in numbers to place names, shewing how much importation of fresh blood there had 
been, as de Gaysliam, de Bodekesham, de Maldon ; but perhaps the most remarkable thing is how 
few families can be traced with certainty from 1240 to 1340. 

The important de Stangraves went on, and the de Hammes ; but besides these, Venator the 

1 Romance of Names, by E. Walkley, 1914, p. 87. 

5 Not always; thus ate Hanirne occurs here, though de Hauime is more usual : aud this makes it the more possible that atte 
Ponde may mean at the place Pende, aud not at the Pound. 



ancestor of Le Venour, le Viue and de Bullokfeld seem the only families whose descendants can be 
traced with certainty. If Chaunctour is an error for Chaunclour, it is the same as le Cancelar, and 
as that was not an office very likely to be hereditary the name is probably descended ; while Eillard 
Faber and his son William must have great grandsons concealed among William and John Ferour, 
William Smythe and Bartholeinew Marchal, all iron workers. But there is no other family that 
can be identified, though they cannot have all died out. 

As regards population, these 52 householders would mean some 260 souls. But this must by 
no meaus be taken as the whole population of the parish, since if the neighbourhood of Pendell 
(though perhaps a specially populous part) could find fourteen householders too humble to appear 
as taxpayers, there must have been twice that number elsewhere in the parish one would suppose. 
Moreover Ham, which in Domesday times seems to have supported six households, is represented 
in the lay subsidy apparently by Richard at Ham only, and probably another 30 souls lived there. 
But even if half as many families again are added to the 52 householders, making 78 in all, 
the population in 1330 — 40 would only be 390 souls, against about 365 in 1086, or an increase of 
barely 7 per cent, in 260 years. This sounds rather startling for a lapse of over eight generations, 
even though the growth of population in those days is known to have been slow ; but it may well 
be true, for in Blechingley there were special causes at work. Firstly the enclosure of the North 
Park had checked all growth, if it had not actually lowered numbers in what had once been the 
manor of Chivington ; secondly the enclosure of the South Park prevented (in both its old sense of 
preceding and its more common one of hindering) all expansion at the southern end ; while last but 
not least the growing hamlet of Home, where iron was probably now being dug in considerable 
quantities, absorbed population which might else have stayed in Blechingley proper. The Home 
lay subsidy for 1332 shews many names which belong to Blechingley and either have, or will 
occur there, and as it has not before been printed, it is here given : — 


Township of Home, 

b John de Badesulle ~ 

d Regiuald Beaufiz .... 

a? Geoffrey Trondel (Trundle; ? wheel- 

b Sihil de Flore (Flower Lane, Godstone) 

d John Wylamot (a form of William ; 
Wil mot's Farm, Home) 

h William atte Ke (? Quay, coming from 
one of the Cinque Ports) 

h Geoffrey atte Hale (Hale Farm, Nut- 

h John de Sirle (? Pirlc= Parley) 






b Andrew ate Parke (Home Park) 3 
b Simon ate Bysse (Bysshe Court) 
d AVilliam Boberd 
b John ate Well .... 
c Lawrence le Wuce 
d Andrew Gilberd 

b William ate Howe (Kow Tye, Home) 

c ? Michael le Waps (Appa or Waps Lane, 

Home) 4 

{Lawrence deTudeham (Tudhaui Farm, 
John de Tudeham . 

1 6 











1 Class a, trade or occupation, 4 ; b, place, 12 j c, nickname 
or penonal characteristic, 3 ; d, patronymic, fi. Uere too the 

patronymics are practically all merely the lather's christian 
name. Ocolaw is so obscure it is not counted. 

- Agnes de JJadeshull held llamsted iu Dorking (once 
owned by Bogo de Clare) of the last earl in 1314 (M. 
and B., I., 505), and this John, evidently a large land- 
owner in Home, had quitclaimed one-third of the manor 

there to John and Alice de Home in 1322. (V. C. H., 
IV., 292.) 

' J John de Wysham had a grant of free warren in Home 
in 1328, and his son John held a part of 200 acres under Hugh 
d'Audley in 1334. I.P.M. April 24, 1334 (579). V. C. H., 
IV., 294. 

4 Wappe = ablow (Slratiiiann). Was Michael very handy 
with his fists 't 


Bartliolemew Elyme (? Ely) ..20 
Richard Alfrid 3 2 

Robert le Muleward . . . . 10 
John de Home . . . . . 4 OJ 
Adam Stot (Stot = bullock or inferior 

horse) 2 

?aor?b John Calaboys 1 (Calboys Farm, 


Blindley Heath) .... 




a? William Cornays (? Cornagium ; ef. 


wardcors, p. 179) 



? Walter Ocolaw ..... 



b William ate Playstowe (Plaistow in 



[26 names + 1 duplicate.] £3 3 2\ 

This list of 27 householders, some 135 souls, with an addition of, say another ten families for 
non tax-payers, totalling not far short perhaps of 200 souls, shews when compared with the 25 of 
Domesday times, an increase of some 700 per cent. It is a very different story from the bare 
7 per cent. inci*ease of Blechingley and explains why St. Mary's at Home dates undoubtedly from 
the early thirteenth and possibly even from the twelfth century. The Home names have a more 
Saxon ring about them and they seem to come from all the parishes round, just as would he the 
case when more labour was wanted for the iron smelting at Hedgecourt and Furnace Wood. But 
this leads too far afield, and it is to the third Blechingley list, the Pendell tenants, that attention 
must be again directed. 

In this list Stonhard, Bullockfield, Smyth, Beljamb, Venur, Newman and Spicer have already 
been reckoned as undoubted Pendell tenants : Chaunctour almost undoubtedly so ; Feiour (2), atte 
Stokke (Stockland later was described as " at Pendell," though it was held of Blechingley manor), 
de Calveton, Danyel, and perhaps atte Helde, were tenants right on the borders of Pendell — 
practically all round it, allowing for the waste of Tilgate on the south-west — and so might well 
have had some small holding under Pendell; that accounts for 13 or 14 out of 18; the others 
cannot with any certainty be identified, hut even if all their holdings lay in quite other parts of the 
parish it would not vitiate the presumption now being led up to, that what Edmund de Coventre 
purchased of de Gaysham's daughter was really part of the manor of " Babernon " or Pendell. 

The sale itself took place at York, and Peter and Alice de Thorne (weeGaysham) then disappear 
from Blechingley, but the conveyance did not go through unchallenged. The royal escheator in 
Surrey, William de Northo, was ordered in 1343 to enquire 2 into both the purchase of 26s. 8d. 
(2 marks) of rent from John de Gaysham by Giles atte Ware, and into this purchase of 13s. 4d. 
(1 mark) rent by Edmund de Coventre from Alice daughter and co-heir of John de Gaysham, who 
was alleged to have held the whole 3 marks of the prior of Rochester, who held in chief of the 
king. If this were true the sale without royal licence was a trespass on the king's rights and a breach 
of common law form. The inquest found that the prior held, not of the king, but of the heirs of 
Walter Dabernoun of Blechynglegh by service of Id. yearly. The authorities however were not 
satisfied, and a second inquest was ordered to find out whether, when the prior's predecessors first 
acquired it, it was held in chief of the king. The new writ was dated October 6th, and the second 
inquest was held at Blechyngelegh on October 29th, 1343, when it was found that the priors had 
always held of Walter Daberoun's heirs and of no one else ; and Walter and his heirs had held 

" of the earl of Gloucester, as of his manor of Blecchyngelegh, from time of which memory does not 
remain, but by what service they do not know ; and further that the said prior acquired the rent of 
Walter Dabernoun long before the publication of the statute." 

1 ? Cale a hois. Cale, a creek, and so John who lived at forester called John Wedgewood. (See Cotgrave ; also Littr*, 

the creek running up to the woodland, John Woodcreek ; but s.v.) 

this does not answer to Calboys Farm or Hare Lane. Another - Inqu., Misc. IT., 1834 (p. 457). Original : in Inqu. ad 

old meaning of Cale is a small piece of wood put underneath to quod damnum, 17 Edw. II., f. 149 (12). 

make the large piece lie level, so perhaps John might be a 


The law alluded to was the Statute of Mortmain of 1279, and as Walter's son Ingelram (Ingram) 
died childless in 1235 x that may have been one reason for the grant to religious uses. Evidently, 
however, the prior was able to deal with the rent charge, and presumably he or his successor sold or 
exchanged it with de Gaysham. In any case it was clear that the crown had no cause to intervene, 
and on November 4th, with commendable promptitude, order issued to the escheator to "remove 
his hand and not to intermeddle further" with this three marks rent.- So this purchase of one 
mark rent, with the holdings and services of IS tenants, by Edmund de Coventre in 133G gives the 
earliest details of the manor of Pendell, which in the 1451 rental of William Uvedale appears as 
" Pen dill alias Babernon," because a Dabernon had held it before 1235; though his tenure had to 
be hunted up in 1343, and his name had been quite forgotten and corrupted another century later. 

This Edmund de Coventre was son of one Stephen de Coventre, citizen of London, and a man 
of considerable substance, or at least dealing in a fairly large way with land and money. Some 
years before his purchase in Blechingley Isabella de Muskham, widow of Thomas, with her son 
Walter of Sbenlej' in Herts, owed him the considerable sum of SO marks secured on their Hert- 
fordshire property. 3 In the spring of 133G (the year he acquired the Blechingley land) Edmund 
owed Henry de Edenestow, a chancery clerk and one of the keepers of the Great Seal, .€20 secured 
on his London property,* which suggests that he bought at Blechingley with borrowed money. He 
added to his holding in 1340, when he and his wife Margaret bought a messuage with 24 acres of 
land, 9 acres meadow, 16 acres Avood and 16s. rent in Blechinglegh of Geoffrey and Alice de 
Hadresham and their son John for 100 marks, 5 and this important holding very possibly represents 
more property at Pendell. In subsequent years frequent entries appear of de Coventre owing 
various sums from £40 to £60 to different people, all these being secured on his lands and goods in 
Surrey. 6 In 1342 it is interesting to find that he had a case of novel disseisin against Sir Robert de 
Offord, jun., Sir Edward de St. John, jun., and Sir Thomas Dovedale. All these three were then 
away in Scotland " for the defence of the realm and the destruction of the king's enemies," and 
accordingly the justices in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Middlesex were ordered to hold the case 
adjourned from day to day till further orders. 7 An identical order issued to the Surrey justices 
three years later when Thomas de Ovedale, defendant in another similar case brought by Edmund 
about lands in Titsey, Chelsham, Lingfield and Crowhurst, was in Gascony with Walter de Manny 
on the king's service. 8 No more is known about these cases, and possibly neither dealt with 
Blechingley land, but Sir Thomas Dovedale (which is of course the same as de Uvedale), as will be 
seen presently, owned " Pendhull " when he died in 1367. 

De Coventry only kept his Blechingley land a few years, for at Michaelmas 1350 he and 
Margery conveyed to William de Tudenham, citizen and mercer of London, 4 messuages, 140 acres 
of land, 13 acres meadow, 26 acres pasture and 14 acres wood in Blecchingleye for 100 marks. 9 This 
sale, from its large acreage (193 A.), must have included much more than the land paying the 
one mark rent bought of Alice de Thome in 1336, moreover the price was five times what 
de Coventry had paid, and though he was clearly a land speculator such a profit seems impossible. 
But probably de Coventry had already sold to de Tudenham the messuage and land bought 
of the de Hadreshams in 1340, and this fine only records the last stage of the deal, since 

1 V. C. H., III., 458. 10, 1315 (568); July 7, 1315 (634); March 3, 1346 (51) 

■ C. R., Nov. i, 1313 (203-4). April 11, 1349 (65). 7 C. R., Sept. 10, 1342 (657). 

a C. R., April 12, 1331 (300). s C. 11., Sept. 28, 1345 (671). De Manny was the gallant 

* C. It., April 24, 1336 (608). knight who vainly hegged mercy for the Calais burghers, 

6 Fines 229, P. 47, and S. A. C, p. 110, 3. This Alice before Queen Philippa begged and won it (1347). 
«ill be recognised as one of the blood-spillers in the church ' Pines 229, F. 50, and S. A. ('., p. 121, 58. But the 

(p. 1K1). acreage cannot be relied on as accurate. See note on p. lfc>3 

c C. R., Aug. 28, 1342 (648) ; Nov. 6, 1342 (C74) ; May above. 



William de Tudenham clearly held the chief messuage of the original Dabernon holding at 
Pendell, when on March 16th, 1349, the year of the Black Death, he obtained licence from the 
Bishop of Winchester 1 to have mass celebrated for his own household in his chapel at Daperons in 
Blechingley for the space of one year. Manning recites this licence, 2 and calls the house 
" Daferons or Saferons " ; but it is "Daperons" quite clearly in the Winton register, which is the 
same as Daberon's, i.e., d'Abernon's, the name of the owner who had given the rent-charge to the 
Prior of Rochester and of the family which had held the land " from time of which no memory 
remains." About three generations would suffice to blot out recollection of a not very greatly 
distinguished name, and that period had fully elapsed when the 1343 Inquest was held, so that it is 
not surprising to find the name corrupted to Babernon when the Uvedale rentals begin in 1451, and 
later still to Bevernon. In 1352 Edmund de Coventre owed £100 to William de Hampnamsted 
(which is Hampstead), citizen and pepperer of London, still secured on his property in Surrey, 3 and 
in 1358 he conveyed his share of lands in Middlesex to Henry and Thomas de Frowyk, and that is 
the last notice of him found. 4 

William de Tudenham may be looked on as the first instance of the wealthy city man acquiring 
a country seat at Blechingley. There are two Tudenhams in Suffolk, Tudenham St. Martin not far 
north of Ipswich, and Tudenham St. Mary near Mildenhall, west of Bury ; but there is also a North and 
East Tuddenham in Norfolk, west of Dereham, and one of these, from their proximity to Cawston, 
was most probably William's place of origin. He was a citizen and mercer of London: the first 
notice found of him being as witness to a deed in 1343, which William de Causton (of that 
town in Norfolk famous for its kerseys, sayes, and other woollen goods) also witnessed. 5 This 
William de Causton was an older man, a citizen and mercer of high standing ; he was city sheriff 
in 1317 6 and one of the three collectors of the triennial fifteenth for the lay subsidy there in 1339 ; 7 
and at his death in 1355 he owned the Brodeselde 8 in Chepe, which had once belonged to 
Roisia de Coventre and the sale of which to one Geoffrey de Meldeburn he had witnessed at York in 
1319 ; tJ he also owned a capital messuage and some shops hard by, all of which he left to trustees 
for the use of his wife Christina till her death or remarriage, and thereafter to be sold for pious 
uses. 10 Christina, who was no doubt much younger than her husband, apparently had fuuds of her 
own and evaded the penalty for remarriage by purchasing the property " for a great sum " of 
John atte Berne, late apprentice and then executor of de Causton. One of the witnesses to this 
deed was Simon Dolseley, a partner, or relation of a partner, of William de Tudenham, who also 
witnessed as one of the two sheriffs of London for the year. 11 It is rather confusing to find Simon 
and Richard de Worstede (another famous Norfolk wool centre) as executors of William 
de Causton, with no mention of John atte Berne, conveying the same property "for a great sum " 
to Nicholas Ploket, citizen and mercer, thirteen days later, and William de Tudenham also 
witnessing this deed with his fellow sheriff Richard Smelt and the mayor Thomas Legg; 12 but 
probably this was a fictitious sale to give Christina a better title. 

1 Winton Register, Edindon, II., 20 b. 

2 M. and B., II., 310. Cf. also 406 where the same mis- 
take occurs in the name of the rector of Titsey in 1362 — 
Ralph Daperon (not Daferon), who was probably brother of 
Sir William Dabernon (d. 1359), who married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Sir John de Uvedale (d. 1322), lord and patron 
of Titsey. a C. R., March 29, 1352 (475). 

4 C. R., Feb. 21, 1358 (488). 

5 C. R., July 7, 1343 (222). 

6 Chronicle of London, 1080—1483, p. 45 (published 4to 
1827 from Harl. MS. 565). » C. R., April 3, 1339 (60). 

8 Seldct, selds or shields (from which perhaps comes 
North and South Shields in Northumberland and Durham) 

were places for the storage and sale of goods. They were used 
as warehouses and belonged only to public guilds or men of 
considerable wealth. See Liber Albus, R. S. ; Riley, 1859, I., 
xxxviii. 9 C. R , Jan. 25, 1319 (122). 

10 C. R., Friday after St. Augustine's day, May 26, 1355 
(201). St. Augustine's fell that year on a Tuesday, so the 
date was May 29. 

11 William Totenham and Richard Smelte sheriffs, Thomas 
Legge mayor in 1355. Simon Dolcelle was sheriff in 1349 and 
mayor in 1360. Totenham rather disguises the East Anglian 
origin, but the Close Rolls leave no doubt of the identity. 
Chron. of London, p. 62. 

12 C. R., June 10, 1355 (207). 

O C 


Less than three years later William de Tudenhani owed John Mayu, king's serjeant-at-arms, 
£100 secured on his lands and goods in London, but it was agreed by a deed dated next day that 
the debt should be cancelled if Mayu lost nothing of the lands and rents which he held of 
William de Tudenham in Blecchyngeleghe, Notefeld and Chalvedon in any action of dower or 
otherwise brought by Christina, William's wife, should she survive him. 1 This suggests that 
de Tudenham had married the rich de Causton's widow, but as William and Christina de Tudenham 
are found conveying property to William de Causton in 1352-3 the similarity of names must be 
accidental. 2 

William de Tudenham was a well-to-do man when he bought his Blechingley property. At 
the end of 1351 he lent the king £50 3 — a large sum — secured on the customs of the port of London 
and was repaid in two instalments within two years.* Meanwhile a sidelight is thrown on the 
dangers of oversea trade by an account of what happened to his ship. William, with his partners 
Thomas Dolsyley, John de Todenham (probably a younger brother, who had lent the king 60s. 
when William lent £50), Peter Raak, and others unspecified, had sent a cargo of wool to Flanders. 
The ship was taken by the French, who, howevei 1 , did not carry her away, "their Serjeants 5 
guarding the wool not being driven off" ; but the ship was wrecked off Calais. The people there, 
despite the Serjeants, promptly " earned the wool away and did their will thereof." Complaint was 
made to the admiral of the port, who held that by maritime law goods taken at sea by pirates, but 
not in their hands for a day and a night, ought to be restored to the merchants. Orders were 
accordingly issued by letters close to Robert de Herle, Captain of the town of Calais, and the 
Treasurer there, to deliver the wool back to William de Tudenham and his partners. Whether 
the Calais people's will, already wreaked upon it, admitted of this is not recorded ; but the 
merchants' prayer might well have been " defend me from my friends," if the maritime law of the 
day gave the rescuers legal possession of goods recaptured from pirates more than one day after 
the piracy. 

William and Christina lived partly no doubt in their chief messuage at the Chepe and partly 
at their mansion house at Pendell, which stood probably much where Pendell Court now stands. 
In 1354 William had the bishop's licence 7 repeated for 

"the celebration of mass by his own chaplain (per presbyterum ydoneum)* before himself and his wife and 
free household (libera familia) in the chapel of the mansion commonly called Daperons (in oratorio 
mansi sui Daperons vulgarifer nuncupati) for the space of one year." 

This is the last notice found of the de Tudenhams in Blechingley, though they were both still 
living in 1375 when they had a lease of lands at Old ford in Stebenbethe (i.e., Stepney). 9 Probably 
they died without issue soon after that date, as their names do not recur nor are any children 
mentioned ; and perhaps the want of an heir accounted for their not keeping the Blechingley 
property. At any rate, in 1358 John Mayu, serjeant-at-arms to the king, had the same bishop's 
licence for celebration of masses by his chaplain in the chapel of his house at Blecchinglegh for the 
space of one year, a licence which was repeated two years later. 10 In neither licence is "Daperons" 
or any name given to the house, but, as already seen, Mayu had a lien on all de Tudenham's lands 

1 C. It., Jan. 28, 1358 (48G). "In Blechingley, Nutfield 6 Serjeants = servants, their hired seamen no doubt, 

and Chaldon" may be noted as further evidence that this land f) C. It., Jan. 23, 1352 (121-5). 

was the subinfeudated manor of Pendhill. The deed is in ; Winton Reg., Edyndon [I., 81 a, Sept. 2, 1354. 

French. 8 Literally a " fit, " priest, but since ihis left hira free to 

5 London and Middlesex Fines. Hardy and Page, 1892, choose, it means a " private chaplain," as we should say. 
p. 132 (300). A third pari, of two mills in Stratford atto " 0. R., June L376 (235-6). 

Bowe. '' P. R., Nov. 29, 1851 (145). "' Winton Iteg., Edyndon II., 38, May 20, 1353; ibid., 

* C. It., Jan. 23, 1352 (311) ; Oct. 4, 1353 (571 J. 41 b, July 30 : 13C0. 


in Blecbingley, Nuffield and Chaldon, while the identity is fully established by the Oxted manor 
rental of 1408, ' which records at the head of the Blecbingley tenants of that manor "William 
Dovdale, Esq., for a holding late John Mayu, 13s. Ad. yearly." So though nothing more is found 
of Mayu, it may fairly he supposed that in or after 1360 he sold to Sir Thomas Uvedale, who made 
his will in 1367 and left a legacy "to the bailiff and servants of Pendhull"; this will therefore links 
up directly with the Uvedale rental of 1451 and the continuous history of Pendell manor from that 
date till to-day. 

13 14. To go back now to the other land dealt with by the two inquests ad quod damnum, in 
1343. The two marks rent acquired by Giles atte Ware soon again changed hands, for Giles 
conveyed it to Sir John de Stangrave and his wife Joan on January 27th, 1344, for the term of their 
lives with remainder to himself and his heirs. The rent is then described as being in Blecchinglegh 
and Katerham, and the price paid Avas 20 marks with the yearly rent of " a rose at the feast of the 
Nativity of St. John Baptist " (June 24th),- a very common form of " peppercorn " rent. But 
apparently the real purchaser was Joan de Stan grave's father Reginald lord Cobham, later a 
veteran of Crecy and Poitiers, lord of the manor of Prinkham in Lingfield (where he built 
Sterborough castle), and of the manor of Oxted, jointly with his wife Joan. He died of the plague 
on October 5th, 1361, and the inquest held at Southwark on November 4th found that in 
Blacchyngeleghe he held 26s. 8d. rent by conveyance of Giles atte Ware. 3 This rent was payable 
quarterly "at the hands of the free tenants," and was held of the earl of Stafford as of his manor 
of Blecbingley. No mention is made of any part of it being in Caterham, but it is impossible to 
doubt that it was the same rent which Giles had conveyed for life to John and Joan de Stangrave, 
or that the free tenants were other holders under Pendell similar to those eighteen whose rent of 
one mark and services were conveyed to de Coventry in 1336. So this sale of Giles atte Ware 
explains the fact that the manor of Pendell itself made a yearly payment of 13s. Ad. to the manor 
of Oxted, which in 1408 and for four centuries later claimed 28s. 8§cZ. yearly from Blecbingley 
(i.e., Pendell) tenants. 1. The further history of Pendell will be told in a future chapter, but 
here it may be claimed that its origin and descent have been traced and may now be briefly 
summarised : — 

Before 1086 Pendell, a Saxon hall or " manor " on or near the site of a Roman villa, had been 
joined to the manor of Blecbingley by Richard de Tonbridge. 

Later a d'Abernon, of one of the most trusted vassal families of the de Clares, received a grant 
of land at Pendell from the earl of Hertford ; and Walter d'Abernon, in the first half of the 
thirteenth century, perhaps in 1235 when his only son died, conveyed to the Prior of Rochester a 
rent of £2 (3 marks) from tenants on it. 

Before the statute of mortmain in 1279 the then prior granted this rent to John de Gaysham, 
who later divided it by selling two marks (i.e., two-thirds of its annual value) to Giles atte Ware ; 
while in 1336 de Gaysham's daughter Alice, with her husband Peter de Thorne, sold the remaining 
third mark's rent to Edmund de Coventry. De Coventry largely increased his holding by 
purchasing a house (Pendell or Dabernon's?) and land from Geoffrey and Alice de Hadresham, 
probably with other lands as well. 

In 1350 he sold four houses and 193 acres of land to William de Tudenham, who had already 
acquired possession of the mansion of " Daperon's," the original holding of Walter d'Abernon (and 
apparently the same which the de Hadreshams had sold to de Coventry). De Tudenham probably 
enlarged the house and built a chapel there, but in 1358 he conveyed it to John Mayu, serjeant-at- 
arms, who after 1360 sold to Sir Thomas Uvedale, who died seized of "Pendhull " in 1367. 

1 Barrow Green deeds. :i I. P.M. under date. 

2 I'ines 229, F. 48 ; S. A. C, p. 115, 59. 4 Percypiendum per manus Uberorum tenentium. 

c c 2 


Meanwhile Giles atte Ware had, subject to the life tenancy of the de Stangraves, sold his 
two marks rent to lord Cobhain, lord of the manor of Oxted, who died seized of it in 1361, and 
this payment appears in the Oxted court rolls for centuries as 13s. Ad. due from the owner 
of Pendell, and other sums due from Pendell tenants to the manor of Oxted, totalling to just over 
two marks (the excess being due to a disputed rent as appears in later rentals). 1 

It cannot be pretended that if the descent of Pendell carried a peerage with it the above 
suggestions would certainly persuade a House of Lords committee to recommend the revival of the 
title, but where material is so fragmentary it is possible to do little more than guess constructively 
and leave the balance of probability to the reader's judgment. At least the Babernon and 
Bevernon of the fifteenth-century Pendell rentals are mere gibberish in Blechingley unless identical 
with the Daperons of the Bishop's Register, Daperon itself being a not uncommon form of 
d'Abernon. Prom 1367, when the first Uvedale owner died, the descent of Pendell Court can be 
traced continuously to the present day, and is dealt with in Chapter VIII. 

1 See VIII., ii. ad init. 

( 197 ) 

CHAPTER V.— continued. 

II.— Parksilver. The d'Audley Extent, 1347. The Stafford lordship. 

In 1341 John de Warbelton (Warbleton in Sussex), who had inherited from his father John 
the manor of Tandridge by 

" knight's service, suit of court at Blechingley and 2s. a year Parksilver to enclose the earl's park, besides 
a customary fine at the lord's will on every purchaser," 

brought an action of replevin against Hugh d'Audley earl of Gloucester and his bailiff Thomas 
Jones-servant or Fromount. Two of de Warbleton's oxen had been seized for the rent and one 
for the suit, and he sought to recover the distress (replegiari facias). When the case came to trial 
it appeared that though Margaret d'Audle}', as lady of the manor, held the rent and suit of court, 
the knight's fees of the manor had been allotted as purparty of her sister Eleanor in the division 
of the de Clare inheritance. 1 Prom this arose an intricate argument as to who was entitled to 
de Warbleton's service. Finally it was settled that since the partition had been effected by the 
Court of Chancery and not by Margaret herself, it was not her act, and therefore she and Hugh 
won the case and so presumably kept the cattle for the unpaid rent. Thenceforth Tandridge was 
held of Eleanor and her descendants for one knight's fee, while suit and the 2s. rent were paid to 
Margaret's heirs. The case is really a Tandridge matter, 2 but it has the special interest to 
Blechingley of explaining parksilver. 

1343. A different kind of deed is the agreement made by Walter Deuboneye of Bleccliyngleye, 
furmager (i.e., cheesemonger), with Eleanor de Wyncestre, prioress of the church and convent of 
St. Helen's in London, for the maintenance of two chaplains to pray for Walter himself and the 
souls of William and Mabil his parents, one at St. Mary le Bow at a salary of six marks yearly and 
the other at St. Helen's at a salary of two marks yearly. The deed, dated Friday after the feast of 
SS. Peter and Paul (June 29th), 1343, is preserved among the deeds of the Dean and Chapter 
of St. Paul's. 3 There is also a memorandum referring to it in the Liber Albus,* under date 1419, 
"about the half mark left to the chamberlain which the prioress of St. Helen's ought to pay for 
the soul of Walter Blecchyngley." It is not clear how the two marks had become a half mark 
unless the prioress had sublet the St. Helen's job at a profit of 75 per cent. The chaplain's salary 
at St. Mary le Bow (£4) was a bare living wage, but it was not a " whole-time " engagement ; and 
£5 was a normal chantry priest's stipend at this period. The two marks yearly at St. Helen's 
itself would no doubt secure a weekly mass from inmates of the priory. 

Walter Deuboneye was a man of some substance, but his name does not appear in any 
Blechingley conveyance of land. William de Tanrigge owed him £60 in 1331 secured on his lands 
and goods in London, 5 and Deuboneye is then described as Walter de Blecchinglegh, citizen of 
London, so though the name of his birthplace clung to him, his business and property no doubt lay 
chiefly in town. Ralph Deuboneye — spelt in many ways, including Deaubeneye, which hints at its 
English form of Daubeny — was member for Blechingley repeatedly between the years 1322 — 1358, 
but so many writs are missing that whether Walter ever served or not cannot be known. The 

1 Year book, 17th Edw. III., p. 404. records then extant, compiled by John Carpenter, Common or 

2 It is fully set out under Tandridge in V. C. H., IV., Town Clerk, who was an executor of the will of Lord Mayor 
322. Richard Whittington (who d. 1423). See Lib. Alb. (E. S.), 

: < Hist. MSS. Com. 9th Report, 57 b. I., 555. 

4 The Liber Albus was a calendar of the principal civic i C. R., Oct. 17, 1331 (344). 


regular payment of a burgess was 2s. a clay,' which, while heavy enough to be felt as a tax by the 
borough, was not enough to make the trouble and expense of the post sought after, as the 
constantly changing list of members attests. 

The name Deuboueye is supposed to come from Aubigny in Artois. A William Deubeneye, 
possibly Walter's father, had a grant of 40 mails yearly on being knighted until provided with the 
equivalent in hinds, though where he came from is not stated.- But the family connection with 
Bleehingley was maintained for some generations since John Deubeneye of Blecchinglegh held the 
Parkgate land in 1408. 3 

In 1346 John de Bedekesham and his daughter Alice conveyed a messuage with 2 acres of land 
and 4d. rent in Blecchyngleghe to Richard and Juliana Cabous for life with remainder to Alice and 
her heirs. 4 No money passed, and it was evidently a family settlement. This de Bodekesham, 
probably now the third generation in the parish, was member for the borough in several parliaments 
between 1357 and 1371. 

About this date Edward III. was completing the chapel of St. Stephen's in the royal palace of 
Westminster, where all his three predecessors had done much building. Among several places in 
different counties, Reigate and Bleehingley had to find " timber, stone and other necessaries " for 
the Avorks, and the surveyor, Brother John Waleraiul, arranged for the land and water carriage of 
the materials so purveyed. 5 It was in 1348 that Edward granted a charter founding a collegiate 
church with a dean and twelve secular canons independent of St. Peter's monastery, though paying 
to the abbot a yearly rent of 5 marks as an acknowledgment of being within the parish of 
St. Margaret's, and therefore in the monastic jurisdiction. The Chantries act of 1517 swept away 
Edward's college, and St. Stephen's chapel became the meeting-place of the House of Commons ; 
but if any Bleehingley oak, or perhaps stone from the ruined castle, then existed, it perished in the 
disastrous fire of 1834. 

In 1350 Roger Daber bought a messuage and one viigate of land with 10 acres wood and 4s. 
rent in Caterham and Blaccln nglegh of Robert and Isold Asper for £40, G a purchase which perhaj)s 
points to the substantial estate which the important trade of davvber or plasterer would warrant, 
when wattle and daub was the usual construction. Roger Daber may quite possibly have descended 
from the John Cementarius, the mason or plasterer of earl Richard's thirteenth-century grant; still 
rnore possibly he can be claimed as ancestor of John Daborn who was assessed in 1522 for £17 in 
goods and was presumably either father of or identical with John Daber or Dawber, the Reformation 
churchwarden for six years from 1546. 

Hugh d'Audley died on November 10th, 1347, having survived Margaret, whom he had married 
in 1317 five years after the execution of her first husband Piers Gaveston, when she was 24 years 
old. The year of her death is uncertaiu, but she shared in her husband's honour when her father's 
earldom of Gloucester was revived in his favour in 1337, and probably lived several years afterwards; 
indeed she would only have been 54 had she survived for a second widowhood. The inquest was 
held at Blecchyngelegh with unusual speed, only six days after Hugh's death. 

The witnesses' names include Adam de Podyndtnne (Puttcnden in Lingfield) ; John son of 
Cecilia de Rugge — a style which suggests illegitimacy ; of the rest, Venour, le Beesh (Bysh of 
Home), atte Garston, de Maldon, Ferour, Beljambe, atte Helde are well known names. Henry 
de Michenhale is new and has remained in Michenall's (or Mitchenor's) Farm; Mitchenall being a 
place name in Godalming parish, 7 whence perhaps Henry came. Snoute (later Snot of Snot's Farm 
and so Snatt's Hill) is also new. Of Le Raunde nothing is known. 

1 C. It., Feb. 27, 1358 (502). Ralph Deubenye and John 4 Fines 229, F. 48, and S. A. C, p. 117, 87. 

BodekeBham appear in a list of M.P.s. to he paid 2.*. a day •• P. It., April 12, 1316 (67) ; July 7, 1317 (349). 

for 26 days. ■ Fines 229, F. 50, and S. A. C, p. 121, 51. 

- P. It., Jan. 28, 1332 (249). 3 See VIII., ii. "' M. and B., II., 24. 


I.P.M. Hug. d'Audele. 

Inquisitio capta apud Blecchyngelegh coram Regmaldo le fforester Escstore Domini Regis in comitatu 
Surrie ct Sussex xvi° die Novembris anno regni Regis Edwardi tercii a conquestu Anglic viccsimo pritno et 
regni sui Francie octavo virture cuiusdem brovis domini Kcgis huic inquisitioni consentient! per sacramentum 
Ade de Podyndenne, Joliannis filii Cecilie de Rugge, Willielmi Venour, Walteri Snoute, Henrici le Ijeesli, 
Godefridi le Eaunde, Ilenrici de Michenhale, Henrici atte Qarston, Joliannis de Maldon, Joliannis Feroun 
senioris, Willielmi Belejambe ct Henrici atte Helde Qui dicuut super sacraiuentutn suum quod Hugo de 
Audele nuper comes Gloucestrie defunctus non tenuit aliquaa terras seu tenemcnla de domino Rege in capite 
in dominico suo nt de feodo die quo obiit sed diennt quod predictus Hugo tenuit manerium de Blecchyngelegh 
ad terminum vite sue in comitatu Surrie de hereditate Margarie nuper uxoris eiusdem Hugonis per legem 
Anglie cum advocacione ecclesie eiusdem ville et dicunt quod predictum manerium tenetur de domino Rege in 
capite per servicium medietatis unius feodi militis et dicunt quod predictum manerium valet per annum in 
omnibus exitibus iuxta verum valorem eiusdem xxvili. xiijs. iiijd. et dicunt quod predictus Hugo obiit x" die 
Novembris proximo preterite- anno supradicto et dicunt quod Margaria filia predicti Hugonis quam Radulphus 
de Stafford duxit in uxorem est lieres eiusdem Hugonis propinquior et etatis viginti et sex annorum et 

Hugh is stated to have held the manor for life in right of his wife by the law of England, 
i.e., "by courtesy" as it was often put. He held of the king in chief by service of half a knight's 
fee, an interesting variation on the old de Clare tenure, which as early as 1210 was held by "service 
unknown." This tenure presumably dated from his restoration after three years imprisonment in 
1326, but no record of it is found. The total value £26 13s. Ad. is a very heavy drop from the 
£43 14s. l\\d. in 1314 when the borough, now not mentioned, was valued at £7 Is. lie?, besides. 
No details are given and the yearly value is stated to be "with all outgoings," which probably 
include the wages of park-keepers, though these can only have accounted for a small part of the 
loss. Hugh d'Audley's death was two years before the Black Death in 1349 or it would have been 
natural to attribute the great drop in value to that terrible visitation, which left so many farms 
tenantless on their lord's hands, and by a sweeping reduction of population did more to raise the 
price of labour and the status of the villain copyholders than any growth of parliamentary 
government or advance of social ideas had yet done. 

Hugh and Margaret left only one child Margaret, " aged 26 and more," who had married 
Ralph de Stafford in 1336 when about 17. And thus for the second time since the Conqu-st, and 
in two successive generations, Blechingley parsed through the female line, to descend for yet 
another seven generations in the direct line of the Staffords until the thread was snapped by the 
judicial murder of 1521. 

Ralph baron Stafford was a great deal older than Margaret. He was, it is said, born in 1299, 1 
which would make him some 22 years her senior, but as he did not have livery of his lands till 
1323, although his father had died in 1308, perhaps his birth has been antedated by a few years. 
He was a widower, his first wife being Katharine daughter of Sir John Hastaug, 2 but apparently 
she left no children. Ralph however had one bastard son, known as Thomas de Stafford, born 
perhaps before 1336. His father was Edmund baron Stafford, and his mother Margaret daughter 
of Ralph lord Basset of Drayton (d. 1299), and granddaughter of Ralph Basset (d. 1265), from whom 
no doubt Ralph Stafford got his christian name. He served in the Scottish campaign of 1327 when 
for valour he was made knight-banneret; and he stoutly opposed Mortimer till the end in 1330. 
For the rest, his life was a record of good service and plenteous honours; steward of the king's 
household and privy councillor in 1337; serving in Flanders 1338 — 10, when he helped on Edward's 

1 D.N.B. 

" The famous brass of Sir Hugh Hastings (U. 13-17) at Elsiog, Norfolk, is supported Ivy smaller brasses "f comrades in arms, 
among whom is Ralph earl of Stafford. Awmseologia, LX., 35-6, with plate. 


policy of developing- the wool trade ; ambassador to Pope Clement VI. in 1343 to arrange terms of 
peace ; seneschal of Aquitaine in 134-5 and valiant defender of beleaguered Aiguillon ; fought at 
Crecy Saturday, August 28th, 1346, and helped to negotiate the peace of Calais afterwards ; a K.G. 
at the foundation of the order in 1348 ; created earl of Stafford March 5th, 1351 ; campaigning in 
Scotland in 1355-6, and fought at Poitiers September 19th, 1356; in Ireland with Lionel (later 
duke of Clarence), husband of his wife's first-cousin once removed, Elizabeth de Burgh, in 1361 ; 
serving in Fiance in 1365 when he was over 60 if not 65, and dying at Tonbridge castle on 
August 31st, 1372, after a long and honourable career. Margaret was already dead, and beside her 
he was buried in the Priory church of St. Mary Magdalene at Tonbridge — homo quondam validus 
fortis audaz, bellico$us in armis, strenuus ; senio confectus, longo squallore maceratus. 1 

The Stafford arms, which by his marriage with Margaret d'Audley became the coat of the lord 
of Blechingley, can still be seen in the parish church, though the scutcheon there dates from three 
generations later than earl Ralph. It is mere chance, but certainly curious, that whereas the 
de Clares bore or, three chevrons gules, the de Staffords bore or, a chevron gules ; so that it has 
even been suggested that Ralph copied deliberately after his marriage. But the Stafford coat had 
long been fixed and Ralph's father Edmund sealed the famous letter to the Pope in 1301 (to go no 
further bach) with or, a chevron gules. The d'Audley arms, gules a fret or, by an added coincidence 
play on the same tinctures, so that these three coats are wholly or and gules. They represent the 
lordship of Blechingley in a direct unbroken line (though passing twice through female representa- 
tives) for sixteen generations — from the Conquest till 1521, during which period of 450 years there 
were but twenty owners of the manor, 2 and there was never one who was not child or grandchild 
of a predecessor. In only three cases did a brother succeed a brother, once in 1153 when Roger de 
Clare inherited from the childless Gilbert first earl of Hertford ; and twice in rapid succession 
when two sons of Hugh, second earl of Stafford, died within three years and were succeeded in 
1395 by a third son who thus became fifth earl, less than five and forty years after the creation of 
the title. 

The modern revival of interest in archaeology in all its branches has taken many forms ; 
certainly it has aroused among growing numbers of people more feeling for our ancient buildings, 
more appreciation of the national growth they represent, and more desire to know something of the 
story of far-off predecessors, who walked the same spots on which we live to-day and worshipped in 
the same churches as ourselves. Among straws which shew how the wind blows may well be 
reckoned the rather curious but certainly popular idea of " heraldic china," which ascribes for the 
benefit of visitors (and of the manufacturers) coats of arms to all sorts of places, which never 
really boi'e them. Such fancy heraldry could often be made to tell history and help the public 
interest in history. Sometimes it is merely futile, as in a neighbouring parish to which, though it 
could boast a Saxon church and certainly does not lack history, the devisers of the "town arms" 
were content to give the coat-armour of a new lord of the manor, whose connection with the parish 
had begun but a generation since. Stirred by this notable example it was proposed that Blechingley 
should adopt the arms of the Clayton family, which, founded by Sir Robert Clayton who bought the 
manors of Blechingley and Godstone in 1077, was until mid- Victorian days by far the largest owner 
in the parish. The writer being consulted ventured to suggest the scutcheon which is here 
blazoned: 1 and 4, Or, a chevron gules, for Stafford; 2, Gules a fret or, for d'Audley; 3, Or three 
chevrons gules, for de Clare— a coat which at least might have been borne by Hugh, 2nd earl of 
Stafford or any of his successors, and in which, as just seen, is represented the descent of the manor 
for sixteen generations. As a fact of course Blechingley was never incorporated, so never had any 
coat-armour, as is shewn by some interesting sheets entitled " The arms or common seals of all the 

1 Arch. Cant. XVI., 39, from Hod I. MSS., k. 84, f. 136. 

J Custody during minorities and forfeitures are of course not reckoned ; no forfeiture broke descent till 1521. 

-/III/,- 7>^*C- r ,„' l/ 'V;/T,Zr,Jvzn0rLa.AiiL 071 CTieJlaexv, 

ZTTCfa-Uk If. 

We,-fSnety covered "wi&iffiwl TtfyTUrtacru > /, 

y 2i/t,/?;Z. »Jjbf«&' &?****&/ 

Blechingley Ctphee. 

Among " The Arms and Shields of Cities and Boro's," temp. Q. Anne, 
by courtesy of Alfred Smith, Esq., Town Clerk of Reigate. 

Supposititious Coat Aeaioue foe Blechingley, 
used on " heraldic china." 

1 and 4, Stafford ; 2, d'Audley ; 3, de Clare. 
Representing a lordship of 16 generations. 


cities and Boro' towns in England and Wales," published in Queen Anne's day and now in the 
possession of the Town Council of Eeigate. The title expressly states that " to supply the vacancy 
of those towns that have no arms the first and last letter of the town's names are put in a cypher " ; 
so Blechingley appears with a much interlaced monogram shewing not only the first and last but 
other letters of the name as well. 1 

But to return to Blechingley at Hugh d'Audley's death in 1347. The young heiress and her 
husband lost no time in executing a settlement of the property, and on January 28th, 1348, license 
issued for Ralph baron Stafford and his wife Margaret to enfeoff Humphrey de Hastang archdeacon 
of Coventry (and a relative no doubt of Ralph's first wife), Master Edward Morteyn lord of 
Marston (Beds.), and William de Rothewell parson of Upper Hardres (Kent), of various manors of 
the de Clare inheritance in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Gloucestershire and of the manors of 
Blecchingeleigh and Ockam in Surrey with the knight's fees aud advowsons pertaining, to the use 
of Ralph and Margaret in tail, with remainder to the right heirs of Margaret. 2 They already had 
two sons of some six and seven years, of whom the younger, Hugh, was to succeed his father and 
carry on the family. 

In October 1350 John Danyel, who has appeared as a tenant owing service in Edmund de 
Coventry's 1336 purchase, had a considerable settlement made on him by William and Matilda 
Collas. 3 The property, described in the fine as three messuages, 94 acres land and 10 acres wood 
in Blecchynglegh belonged by inheritance to Agnes, " late wife of John Danyel," for life, with 
reversion to Matilda Collas and her heirs. John Danyel by this deed aud a payment of 20 marks to 
William and Matilda Collas secured the reversion after Agnes' death to himself and his heirs abso- 
lutely. Agnes is expressly stated to have been present in court and to have consented and given 
fealty to John. It is a little difficult to understand ; but it looks as if Agnes was divorced from 
John and perhaps she and he were cousins, bearing the same relation to Matilda Collas, so that this 
deed was really a family re-settlement under the new circumstances. As Agnes was only a life 
tenant she was actually giving up nothing, and was apparently only brought in for security's sake. 
Danyel does not appear in the 1332 subsidy, so if he was then in the parish he was not of sufficient 
substance to be rated; he seems to pay a low price for the land perhaps because, as the relative of 
childless owners, he already had an expectant reversion on it. 

In 1358 John Isemonger acquired from Robert and Masera Brabasun for 100 marks a house 
and 32 acres of land in Blechynglegh. This was where the house of Water Earm now stands, 
known as Isemonger's in the fifteenth century and for long after.* 

In 1361 Thomas Johan, vicar of Wolkenestede, convej^ed a messuage and garden with 60 acres 
land, 4 acres meadow and 4s. rent in Wolknestede, Tauerigge and Blechynglye to John and Joan de 
Wolhampton and their children with remainder to Joan's heirs. 5 No money passed, and it was 
probably a dowry to Joan, who was very likely the vicar's daughter. If so it seems probable that 
at this date both Godstone and Blechingley had married parsons. 6 

In 1367 Andrew and Alice Bagod of Blecchingelegh sold 4 messuages there to Henry atte 
Helde for 20 marks, 7 and in 1396 s Andrew and Alice conveyed 3 messuages, 120 acres land, 12 acres 
meadow, and 6d. rent in Blecchinglegh to Water atte Hoke and Henry atte Helde for the lifetime 
of Andrew and Alice and afterwards to John, son of John Godstone and his heirs, and failing them 

1 I am indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Alfred Smith, Town Clerk, for the inspection of these sheets and for the figure 
of the Blechingley cypher here reproduced. 

- P. R., under date (19). 3 Fines 229, F. 50, and S. A. C, p. 121, 50. 

* Fines 230, F. 52, and S. A. C, 128, 35. Some further account of Isemongers will be found in the list of field names 
in Chapter XIV. * Fines 230, F. 53, and S. A. C, 131, 1i. 

6 See Chapter X. about Walter Freland, where the subject of married clergy is touched on. Thomas Johan adds a Godstone 
vicar to Manning's list in II., 337. 

i Fines 230, F. 55, and S. A. C, 136, 24, 8 Fines 231, F. 65, and S. A. C, 160, 71. 

D D 


to Thomas Godestone and his heirs. Henry atte Helde was just possibly the same as Michenhale, 
but the land is not identified. 

"When earl Ralph de Stafford died on August 31st, 1372, having survived Margaret, in whose 
right he held Blechingley, the inquest, like that of his father-in-law, was held at Blechynglegh 
within a week on September 6th, and the manor and borough together were valued at £40 2s. Ofc?. 
yearly. No details are given, but " other tenements in Stangrave of the yearly value of 40s. held 
of Richard de Bnrstowe and Nicholas de Loveayne .... of his manor of Blechynglegh" are 
mentioned ; also the advowson, but with no value attached. Sir Hugh de Stafford, aged 30 and 
more, was son and heir as his elder brother Ralph had died without issue, after being married to 
Maud elder daughter of Henry first duke of Lancaster. 

The jurors included John Garstone, Richard Parker, Roger Tonnbrigge and John Isemonger, 
all Blechingley men ; from elsewhere probably came Gohull, Godsham, Godfray, Planchfelde, atte 
Ryght and de Keriel ; the last another form of de Criol, the old vassal family of the de Clares in 
Kent of which the chief line was by this date extinct, but of which a member seems to have 
succeeded to John de Pirle's lands at West Purley about 1439. * 

Hugh who thus succeeded as second earl when thirty years old had married Philippa, second 
daughter of Thomas de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (d. 1369), who bore him five sons and three 
daughters. 2 The earl was employed much as his father was in service abroad, but his life was much 
shorter. His eldest son Sir Ralph was murdered by Sir John Holland, half-brother to the king, in 
1385, and apparently Philippa was then already dead. In deep grief the earl made a pilgrimage to 
Holy Land, and on his way home died at Rhodes on September 26th, 1386, at the age of forty-four. 

The consequent inquest was held at Blacchingelygh 3 on February 19th, 1387, when the manor 
was stated to be worth £21 5s. clear yearly. Manor and borough were held of the king in chief, as 
of the honour of Clare, by knight's service and a yearly payment to the sheriff of 5s., called park- 
silver, for the king's use. This is a second change of service, the half knight's fee of Hugh d'Audley's 
tenure having become a whole fee, while the parksilver is an entirely fresh charge. The low value 
suggests heavy outgoings, and probably the wages of the reeve and park-keepers are reckoned in. 

The second son Thomas, then aged 18, was heir. He was contracted in marriage with Anne, 
daughter of Thomas of Woodstock duke of Gloucester, but she was only a child, and Thomas died 
without issue less than six years after his father, on July 2nd, 1392. The inquest was held at 
Blechvnoleirh on Friday August 31st, when the same tenure was stated, but no value given either 
for manor or borough. The jurors' names include a William Northmede, Richard Dormo', William 
Frelonde, John Debeney, Philip Brampton, being all names connected with the parish, and Nicholas 
Saunde', probably of the Charlwood Saunders, who later owned Pendell. The heir was his brother 
William, who succeeded as fourth earl of Stafford, but died unmarried and a minor on April 6th, 1395. 

1399. The usual inquest was not held for four years, when on February 5th, 1399, at 
Blecchingeleghe, the jury found that the manor and borough were held by William as by his late 
brother (by knight's service and 5s. parksilver) and were valued at the same sum £21 5s. with all 
outgoings, and had been taken into the king's hands after earl Thomas's death. The half knight's 
fee in Blechingley, lately held by William Venur, was valued at 50s. and the advowson at £10. 
The fourth, but third surviving brother, Edmund, was heir, " aged 20 on March 2nd last past " 
(1398) : so evidently the inquest had been purposely delayed till just before his majority. 

Among the jurors were William and John Hert, who were Pendell tenants. William Hert was 
in 1414 a commissioner with John Noreys of Westminster to take carriage of material for repairs 
to the nave of Westminster Abbey ; and two years later he was empowered to take ships, horses, 
carts, wains and gear; also mariners and labourers for the carriage of timber, stone, iron, lead, 

1 V. C. II., IV., 230. 3 This document is much uuuia<jod, and no jurors' names 

3 D.N.B. says four sous, but see below. of special interest are legible. 


glass, and other necessaries for the same purpose. 1 The family long continued in Blechingley, and 
also spread to Godstone, where Hart's Lane, leading from the old Roman road at the southern foot 
of Tilburstovv Hill eastwards towards Tandridge, still preserves the name. 2 

Other jurors were Richard Turner (of Ham no doubt) ; John Debenue (i.e., Dieubeneye or 
Debeney, as it was in 1387), doubtless the holder of the Parkgate lands in 1408 ; and one Thomas 
de Werthe, who may have come from Worth in Sussex and left his name to the tenement on the 
Whitehill road called Worth in the Carew court roll. 

Edmund married his brother's child-widow, Anne of Woodstock, and had one son Humphrey, 
born in August 1402 and so barely a year old when Edmund himself fell at the battle of Shrewsbury 
on July 21st, 1403, being the fifth earl of Stafford in a period of only two and fifty years. The 
inquest was held at Blecchynglegh two months later on September 24th, when the tenure of the 
manor and borough was unchanged and their value found to be £9 above and beyond all outgoings, 
including a charge of 10 marks (£6 13s. Ad.) on their proceeds granted to Nicholas Bradshawe 
for life by the earl after his marriage with Anne, and also a yearly profit of £5 from the 
South Park. This makes a gross total of £20 13s. 4d., almost the same as the £21 5s. of the 
previous inquests. 

The jurors' names include Alan Chapman, the first appearance of that name, and, now that 
surnames were fairly well fixed, no doubt an ancestor of the parish clerks. Moraunt and Drapiere 
are new names which do uot persist ; the others, John Godstone, Tebald, Medes, Clerk, Isemonger, 
Waleys (i.e., Wallis), Tunbrige, Clerk, Parker have mostly appeared before. Many of these, with 
others, served the same day on another jury at Blecchynglegh which returned the knight's fees 
held by the earl, including in Blechingley William Venur's half knight's fee worth 50s. as before, 
and the advowson, still worth £10. 

Another de Stafford inquest held at Blecchyngeleghe on August 4th, 1423, may here be 
noticed. Sir Hugh de Stafford, youngest of the five sons of Hugh the second earl, of whom three 
had succeeded so rapidly, died on the Friday before SS. Simon and Jude (October 28th), 1420. He 
had married Elizabeth, heiress of lord Bourchier, in whose right he was summoned to Parliament as 
lord Bourchier in 1411, 3 but he left no issue, and his young nephew earl Humphrey was his heir. 
Here again the inquest was evidently delayed till just before the heir's majority, which fell eleven 
days after the date of it and nearly three years after lord Bourchier's death. He left considerable 
lands in Chipsted, Caterham and Tillingdown, as well as the manor of Effingham ; and his 
interesting Blechingley holding is dealt with under Stangrave. 4 

The jurors' names on this inquest include the first appearance of a Thomas Holman, no doubt 
a Godstone man, and possibly ancestor of the future builder of Pendell Court; 5 John Eton, probably 
ancestor of the John Eton who farmed Pendell in 1517; and John Bremingham, perhaps father of 
Walter, who was a Pendell tenant in 1451. Other names seem drawn from a wider range and 
include Thomas Beste who came from Merstham, and John Pertenale whose family name is 
preserved by Portnale's farm in Coulsdon, while Roger at Nore was probably from Capenor in 

A few more Blechingley deeds may be mentioned here, bringing the record up to the middle of 
the fifteenth century. In July 1394 John and Joan Selverton conveyed half a messuage (and other 
lands, but the deed is badly damaged), 50 acres wood and 24s. rent in Hoorne, Burstowe, Notfelde, 
Blecchynglegh, Wolkensted, Lyngefield and Crowhurst to Richard and Alice Virley, who were to 
pay them and their heirs 9s. S^d. a year, quarterly ; and on the same day by another fine Richard 
and Alice Virley conveyed 225 acres land, 12 acres meadow, 50 acres wood, 45s. rent and the rent 
of half one messuage in the same parishes to John and Joan Selverton for 200 marks. These two 

1 P. It., March 8, 1414 (160), and Feb. 4, 1416 (413). * See Chapter VI., ii. 5 On this see VIII. 

- See Chapter XI. 3 M. and B., II., 417. 6 Fines 231, F. 64, and S. A. C, p. 159, 59 and 60. 

D D 2 


deeds no doubt formed a settlement to uses, Joan and Alice being sisters and co-heirs of their father 
William de Roderham ; in 1408 John and Joan conveyed apparently the same property in those 
parishes with property in Chellefeld and Strode (Kent) to John, son of William Hadresham, and 
William Newenham for 100 marks. 1 This was Home court, which by a deed of Hadresham's in 
1417 and a release by Alice Virley, then a widow, in 1421 became the property of John Gaynsford. 3 

In 1398 a John and Margaret Mede of Blecchyngeleye joined with Peter and Agnes Wyke and 
William and Emma Langle in conveying 2 tofts and 16 acres of land in Fetcham and Great 
Bookham to John Inggraui for 20 marks. 3 Mede is probably the same as Medes, which has occurred 
before, but nothing is known of the family. An Ingeram de Blechiugeleigh and Agnes had 
conveyed to Henry Gerard de Gyldeford in 1294, 17 acres in Ewell and Long Ditton. 1 

In 1407 John and Margaret Huit conveyed 60 acres land in Blecchyngleye to Matilda Huit and 
her heirs for 20 marks. There is a much damaged copy of this fine in the British Museum. 5 The 
name Huit or Hewett which reappears in the eighteenth century seems to be a fresh importation as 
it does not persist. 

Next year John and Agnes Tebald conveyed 24 acres land, the half of two messuages and ten 
acres land in Wolkenested and Blecchynglegh for £20 to Richard Mousherst (Mowshurst in Eden- 
bridge) and others, and further released to them the reversion of the Wolkenested portion which 
would have fallen to Agnes on the death of (her sister ?) Matilda Holand. 6 

In 1409 Richard and Alice Holdere conveyed to William and Joan Bright of Blacchyngelegh 
for £5, 15 acres of land in the parish J 

In 1417 John Wotton, master of the Collegiate church of All Saints at Maidstone and rector of 
Staplehurst, left among other legacies ten marks to John Blecchyngle, no doubt a Blechingley man 
and perhaps a trusted servant. 8 Surnames even then were not universal among the lower 

On January 20th, 1446, Robert and Joan Godiston and Thomas and Agnes Ffrannssys 9 
released 600 acres land, 14 acres meadow, 200 acres pasture, 60 acres wood and £1 rent in Godiston, 
Wolkenstede, Tanregge, Blecchyngelegh and Caterham to Nicholas Ayssheton, John Yerd, Esq., 
William Venour, John Blewet, John Wydeslade and Robert Clay and the heirs of Nicholas. 
Ayssheton was therefore presumably tenant for life and the others were trustees ; they paid 300 
marks to the grantors, who warranted against Edmund, Abbot of Westminster, and his successors. 
It does not seem probable that any considerable part of this large acreage was in Blechingley, where 
the name of Ayssheton or Ashton does not recur. 

A curious little conveyance dated March 21st, 1423, is among Mr. Clement Pain's deeds. By 
it Thomas Edward of Blecchynglye conveyed to John Tyler of the same a triangle of land 
"5 perches 10| feet long, 10 feet wide at the south, and 6 inches wide at the north," lying in 
Blecchyno'lye between John Tyler's burgage on the west and Thomas Wod's on the east, the north 
end abutting on Tyler's garden and the south on the king's street. A yearly rent of Id. was to be 
paid with the right of entry and distraint for arrears. The premises were obviously a cabbage 
patch in the village. A Thoimis Edward, probably the same man, on May 20th, 1449, joined with 
William Pottere, clerk of Horsham, and (his cousin ?) Thomas Edward of Lewesham in releasing to 
Thomas Hoo, Esq., John Pysshlake, clerk, and John Wodye, lands at Rogheye (Roffey), Horsham, 
lately held by John Edward, and on June 1st Hoo and Pysshlake together conveyed to John 

1 Fines 290, F. 61, and S. A. C, 225, 110. ■ Fines 231, F. 67, and S. A. C, p. 168, 64. 

1 M. and B., II., 318, from Had. MS. 392. " Fines 231, F. 68, and S. A. C, p. 169, 80. 

3 Tines 231, F. 65, and S. A. C, p. 161, 00. H Will dated Thursday alter Michaelmas, Arch. Cant. IV., 

* Fines 227, P. 20, and S. A. C, p. 62, 24. 228. 

• Fines 23!, F. 67, and S. A. C, p. 107, 56, and Add. 9 Fines 232, F. 73, and S. A. C, p. 188, 18. 
MSS. 54,583. 


Cloterwyne all the lands and tenements at Roffey called " Edwardes," whicli they had of Thomas 
Edward, except 14 feet of land— a neat little instance of how the owner's name stuck to property. 1 

Eleven years later on July 20th, 1434, Richard Tyler conveyed to his son John and his heirs 
two parts (? thirds) of the burgage in Blechingley borough which he had acquired of Richard Cleve 
Smyth of Blechynglegh, whose name is noticeable as the first instance occurring in the parish (and a 
very early one) of a man with two christian names. The burgage lay between that of John Sykes 
on the west and the curtilage late of Bartholomew Knoller on the east ; the highway lying on the 
south and the property heading (capitand') towards a field called Stiche on the north which 
R. C. Smyth had from Walter atte Berne of Blecchynglegh. 2 It was, therefore, on the north side 
of the High Street with a long garden running back to Stichens. Among the witnesses are 
William Stocleham, a new name, John Medes, Richard and John Hert, who then held Highfields 
under Pendell manor, and Thomas Aylowe who was a Pendell tenant in 1451, holding Prestwell and 
Goldesdon. Thomas Aylowe held other land also not under Pendell, for though the rector of 
Gatton held of Pendell a meadow called Hideland at a quit rent of S2d. in 1451, in 1453 Thomas 
Aylowe and his wife Elizabeth quitclaimed about 12 acres of land called Sarysland and le Hyde and 
8 acres of meadow to John Elmebrugge and William Burton, chaplain, for 20 marks. 3 Burton was 
no doubt Elmebrugge's private chaplain joined in as a trustee, the remainder heing to Elmebrugge's 
heirs. John Elmbrugge was lord of the manor of Chaldon and a supporter of Jack Cade. Le Hide 
and Hideland were no doubt close together and are probably represented by Hidemead on the 
Pendell map of 1622, but Sarysland is unidentified. 

On April 30th, 1458, Thomas Tunbrugge released to John and Margaret at Ty all rights in 
two fields called Northlondecroft and Northlondmede between the highway on the east, west and 
south, and land of Thomas on the north, the fields being a parcel of land called Lepers.' 3 This was 
part of "Tunbridges" and "Grays Farm," long owned by the Clement family ; and the road on 
the east of it was the continuation of the old green lane which strikes up-hill south-westerly from 
Poundhill railway bridge, and used, before the railway severed it, to turn northwards to link up 
with the " road from Botteras Hill to Lepers " so often mentioned in the Carew court roll. 

The comparative scarcity of records which seems noticeable in English history from the Wars 
of the Roses till the reign of Henry VIII. makes itself felt in Blechingley, and save for wills, some 
of which are given later, the last half of the fifteenth century is almost a blank. But that 
the ancient borough, where the castle of the de Warennes' rivals had stood, continued of great 
importance in the countryside is shewn by casual references now and then. Thus in 1480 the 
conveyance of a house in Reigate describes one boundary as being " the highway through the 
middle of the borough to Blecchynglegh. " 4 

Meantime the manor descended in the Stafford line, and the tale of the doings of the lords of 
Blechingley is to be found in the history of England. Humphrey, who had succeeded to the 
earldom at so tender an age when his father fell at Shrewsbury, was created duke of Buckingham 
on September 14th, 1444. He was lord warden of the Cinque Ports, received a grant of Penshurst 
and sat at Rochester as commissioner to try Jack Cade's adherents in 1450. He consistently 
supported Henry VI., and fell at Northampton on July 10th, 1460, five years after his son and 
heir, also Humphre}', had died of wounds received at St. Albans (May 22nd, 1455). Young 
Humphrey, however, left a son Henry to succeed his grandfather as second duke. 

Henry was a strong supporter of Gloucester's claim to the throne, and in Shakespeare's 
Richard III. it is he who suggests Richard to the Londoners as king, and returns to report to 
Richard : " The citizens are mum and speak not a word." Buckingham then makes the formal 
offer of the crown to Gloucester before the lord mayor, according to plan, and, after Richard's 

1 Anc. deeds, III., B. 4052, 4053. 3 Fines 232, F. 74, and S. A. C, p. 190, 41. 

2 Mr. Clement Pain's deeds. 4 Auc. deeds, VI., C. 4075. 


hypocritical show of reluctance, finally salutes him " with this kingly title, Long live Richard, 
England's royal king/' 1 Richard heaped favours on this stout adherent, even reviving in his 
favour the de Bohuns' hereditary office of Lord High Constable, hut a few months after the 
coronation Buckingham was suddenly in open arms against the king. His motives are obscure, but 
it seems possible he thought he had himself as good a claim to the throne as Richard. But his 
rising failed, and as the messenger reported r — 

" by sudden floods and falls of water 
Buckingham's army is dispersed and scatter'd ; 
And he himself wander'd away alone, 
No man knows whither." 

The Wye and Severn rose high and barred his march eastwards, the floods being long remembered 
as "the duke of Buckingham's water." Cut off by the king's forces, he fled to hiding in 
Shropshire, but was betrayed by an adherent for the price of £1000 put on his head and speedily 
beheaded at Salisbury on Sunday, November 2nd, 1483, the day after trial. 

He was attainted, but he left a son Edward, who was restored as duke under Henry VII., only 
to fall under suspicion of aiming at the throne and lose his head by Henry VIII. 's decree in 
1521, and thus not only close the fifth consecutive generation with a hloody death, but by attainder 
end for ever the connection of the family with Blechingley. None of these Staffords, save the last, 
had any special connection with the parish, except that the Perpendicular restoration of the church 
was carried out very shortly after the creation of the dukedom, while at about the same date the 
holding of Hexstalls was formed out of the North Park. But the history of Hexstalls, of the 
manor house itself and of the North Park are so inextricably mingled that their story must be told 
as connectedly as possible altogether. 

Before that is done, however, two of the earliest holdings which have been already repeatedly 
mentioned claim attention, viz., Garstone and Stangrave, and they shall now be dealt with. 

1 Richard III., III., vii. " Ibid., IV., i?. 

/ : ivn, ,i, ■,■ „/ . //.,,,,/.,/.!„<■ /!>//.;,/,•. (,h/i/t, </,/,-. ,,„,„..,„,.. ,,j,y. ,,;,.„„..„_ /;.„,/, f :'■"'' '"' '"• "" '••¥>■*'■ 


(b. 1454 F, exec. 1483.) 

( 207 ) 



I.— Garstone. 

Garstone is certainly one of the earliest known enclosures in the parish. The Harleian MSS. 
preserve a grant in the reign of John, or the first years of Henry III., by William son of 
Eustace de Garston conveying land here to Hugh son of Asketun del Chivinton at a rent of hd., 
The witnesses were William Venator (le Venour), Arnold de Garston, William de Stangrave 1 
William de Upwode, Thomas de Civentone and Eoger son of Lawrence. 

William de Garston, probably the same man, by deed dated February 11th, 1229, at Lambeth 
conveyed 2| hides of land in Blechingley to the prior of Eochester for two marks ; when 
Richard de Home was attorney for William, and one Alured de Tellekin acted for the prior.' 2 So 
trivial a price for over 200 acres suggests that William's grant was eleemosynary, though it is not 
so stated in the deed. His daughter Agnes married Adam le Butteler, and he then granted her 
a virgate of land in Tanrige which had been given to him by Eoger and Alice de Clare. 1 

William de Garstone was also a tenant of Alice and Eoger de Clare in Wolknested (Godstone), 
for his name appears in the list of those owing rents amounting to £4 in that vill, which were 
conveyed in 1229 to Margery, widow of Alice's father Odo de Daminartin, in exchange for the 
manor of Mickleham claimed by her as part of her dowry. 3 De Garstone only paid 6d. among a 
list of 20 tenants some of whom paid as much as 8s., but no doubt Garstone was his chief holding 
and his grant to the prior proves his wealth. Both he and his father Eustace may have been 
named from land already called Garstone in Blechingley, in which case the name preserves that 
of a Saxon settlement or ton, like Chivington just below, and as Godstone has been, by some, 
supposed to do. 

There is, however, another Garston in Coulsdon parish,* where Joel and Philippa de Garston 
acquired lands of the rector John Haselwode in 1269, in which year they conveyed 161 h acres in 
Cullesdon to Eoger and Maud de Home for 45 marks. 5 This was perhaps partly an exchange, for 
that January Joel and Philippa bought land of Maud and Eoger, and this is recorded in the 
Chertsey cartulary because there was " a plea of warranty of charter." There was a messuage with 
six scoi-e acres of land in Coulsdon, parcels of " Newelond," and it was " in demesnes with homages, 
services of freemen, villeinage, pasture, heath {bruer)," etc., and the de Homes paid 80 marks in 
silver. 6 Later Joel and Philippa's sons John and Joel de Garstone both held land in Coulsdon. It 
therefore seems probable that the de Garstones brought the name with them and left it to their 
lands in Blechingley and Coulsdon. An attempt to trace it further back discovers these facts. 

A charter of 1093-4 records a gift by Godfrey the sheriff of the churches of Walton-on-the-Hill 
and Kirkham and the town of Garston (villate qua dicitur Garstun), all in Lancashire, to the Abbey 

1 Har). MSS. 4786, and in M. and R, U.,305. This was 3 F. 9, Divers counties, 11— 17 H. III., and Fines S. A .C, 

copied in 1653 from deeds in the possession of Sir William p. 213, 89. See also p. 66. 
Haward, then owner of Garstone. 4 Garston Hall in Coulsdon used, till within the present 

" Fines, F. 7, 225. S. A. C, p. 15, 115, where century, to he well known in the country-side as the kennels 

the editor gives " Renecester," but though it looks like of the Old Surrey Foxhounds. 

this in the first line, the repetition at end is clearly * M. and B., II., 449 ; S. A. C, Fines, p. 44, 218. 

" Rouecester." 6 Chert, Cart., 140, p. 125 in S. Rec. Soc, V. 


of Shrewsbury. The grant was confirmed by Henry I. in 1120 — 2. In 1142 Ranulf de demon, 
earl of Chester, ordered his justices and servants to allow the abbot and convent of St. Peter 
of Shrewsbury to hold peaceably all their lands between the Ribble and the Mersey, especially 
Gerestane, with the services of Richard, son of Multon, who " is freed from all services due for 
Gerestane to the earl, who wants for it only the convent's prayers." Among the witnesses appears 
Gilbert de Clare (o.s.p. 1153), whose mother was Alice sister of this Ranulf, fifth earl of Chester. 1 
Gilbert was much in the north in the troublous days of Stephen's reign and it is possible that he 
brought one of the apparently numerous de Garstone family to Blechingley. 

This Garston was a chapelry in the hundred of West Derby, co. Lanes, six miles south-east 
of what is now Liverpool city. The Richard fitzMulton of Ranulf's grant in 1142 was father 
of Adam de Garstone, a benefactor of Cockersand Abbey, who died in 1206 leaving a small son, 
Adam, as his heir. Richard also had a brother Henry, whose sons Hugh and Simon each held three 
ox-gangs for 22^d. by feoff ment of their grandfather in Garston. 2 The name of Eustace, that of 
the father of the Blechingley William, is not mentioned, but supposing either Richard or Henry 
left another son Eustace who went south with de Clare, he would almost certainty have gone by the 
name of de Garstone, just as later other de Clare retainers brought their native place names with 
them (like de Bodekesham). 

The links of this derivation are slight, but if the usual explanation of Garstone as Gaers-tun, 
the grassy enclosure, be correct, it seems impossible that it originated as a place name at this spot 
in Blechingley on the dry hill in days when meadows were rare and generally by the water-side. 
Another derivation suggested is the Gore, goar, goer, or sharp sandstone," which at any rate is a 
good description of the soil, and is possibly supported by the spelling Gerestane. The name is 
found in many places besides Blechingley, Coulsdon and the Lancashire Garston (which last is 
probably the best known). East Garstone is a parish in Berkshire between Lambourne and 
Newbury ; in Hampshire Garstone was a place name in Burghclere in the fourteenth century or 
earlier,* while at Crookham and Bramshott, both in Crondal, Garstontoft and a pasture called 
Garstone occur in 1287, when one Reginald de la Garstone held certain purprestures or encroach- 
ments on the forest. 5 Also King John in 1203 granted a wood called "la Garston Regis " at 
Hazeley in Heckfield (Hants) to the priory of Merton with leave to assart and enclose at will, and 
Garston wood is still a local name there ; 6 a wood in Slinfold (Sussex) was called Garston before 
1250, where also de la Garston occurs as a family name. Garston is also a place name in Esher. 
Garston in Norfolk seems merely a corruption of Garvestone, but it may be noted that it is locally 
pronounced Garson, which was no doubt how Garston or Gasson in Blechingley was very usually 
sounded. In Devonshire at West Allington a Garston was famous for its oranges, and doubtless 
other Garstons could be found up and down England. Evidently, therefore, the name did not 
always imply grass land, but occurs in spots of very varying character — woodland or grass or 
heathland as the case may be. 

So the Blechingley Garston is probably another instance of how names travelled about, the 
first Garstone being perhaps a rich grassy enclosure whence a family took its name, who, settling 
elsewhere, left it to a place where the old sense was meaningless, but the family name became 
fixed. This may well have already happened at Blechingley in 1229 when William de Garston was 
giving so much land to the monks of Rochester, and where an Adam de Garston is also found 
acting as attorney for Thurgisius de Illegh in a conference between him and his wife Cecily, and 
John, abbot of Boxley (Kent), about a third share of 300 acres of land at Chessington. 7 If the 

1 Itanulf de Gernon died of poison in 1153. Matt. P., II., 210. 

' Lancashire Pipe Rolls, 4; Fairer, 1902, pp. 269— 272 ; 279, etc. * See I). I)., s.v. * V. C. II., Hants, IV., 277. 

' Crondal Records. Hants Rcc. Soc. (1891), 89, 90, 107. ° V. C II., Hants, IV., 47. 

7 C. R., ]229 (230). Adam also witnessed an undated grant to Richard Forester, sec p. 153. 


Lancashire de Garstones moved south this Adam might well be the Adam de Garston who was 
under age when his father, the benefactor of Cockersand abbey, died in 1206. 1 

But however the name came to Blechingley, the family continued there for some generations, 
and the Garstone holding apparently included Ivy mill, possibly on a lease only, since if the lord 
did not keep a mill in his own hands he farmed it out at a high rent and was not very likely to sell. 
But in any case by an undated charter William de la Garston granted to William, son of Ralph 
de la Wile, land in the parish of Blaangeleia (Blachingeleia is obviously meant) called Wodland, 

" lying between the alder plantation which Thomas of the Mill holds of the grantor, and land called 
Aldebiri ; and all the lands between land of Staingrave and the stream (ripavi) which runs to the 
grantor's mill, together with the meadow called Misimed, whereof the west head extends to the meadow 
which Thomas of the Mill held of the grantor, in fee at a yearly rent of 20d. William paid 20s. sterling 
{esterlingoruni) and the grantor warranted. The witnesses were Eoger de Home, John de Staingrave, 
Eustace de "Wolcnestede, Eichard . . . ., Eoger de Kingeswud, Philip son of . . . ., Stephen son of Akenild, 
Luke Pret dc Gatton, "William de Kingeswud, Hamo de Sotemere, Fulk de Gatton and many others. 
Seal : ' A bird close.'- Legend (?)." 2 

The witnesses, though from not far off, suggest that the deed was not sealed at Blechingley, 
and it is disappointing' that the legend cannot be read to tell whose arms the seal displays. But 
the land was clearly little more than narrow strips of wood and pasture fringing the mill-pond, 
apparently on both sides of it, while the pond itself was then probably not so efficiently dammed 
and consequently not nearly so large. The date may be put at c. 1250 and not very long before 
William de la Garstone's death. He was succeeded by his son John, not by John son of the Joel 
and Philippa noticed above, for on August 28th, 1251, John de la Garstone, son of William de la 
Garston, had life exemption from assizes, juries and recognitions. 3 This John apparently settled 
his lands in Blechingley and Wolkestede in dower on Matilda his wife, and in 1261 he levied a fine 
with her by which they were all settled on them for life, with remainder to the heirs of John. A 
rent of 100s. to be paid in the churchyard {i.e., at the church porch) of Blechingel' half yearly was 
reserved, which was to be paid to Matilda if John's heirs, being ot full age, desired to become 
tenants ; while she was to remain in possession if she survived her husband during their minority. 
Moreover, John covenanted for himself and his heirs to maintain the buildings on the estate in good 
order during Matilda's life, and to guarantee the rent to her executors and assigns for twenty-five 
years after her death. A dispute about the ownership of the woodlands and damages claimed by 
John was composed by the same fine, and John paid Matilda 20 marks in acknowledgment of the 
settlement. 4 From this it seems that there was a house of some age on Garston at this date, and 
the property was of importance, perhaps already claiming manorial rights. The deed suggests 
that Matilda (family not known) was a rich match for whom liberal provision had to be made 
before John's heirs could inherit ; and they were evidently not Matilda's children, and if John's, 
were by a former wife. 

About the same date is the interesting conveyance to John de la Garstune of two separate 
parcels of one acre each by Eichard earl of Gloucester and Hertford in these terms : 5 — 

Grant by Eichard de Clare, earl of Gloucester, etc., to John de la Garstune (about 1250—60). 

Sciant presentes et futuri quod Ego Eicardus de Clare comes Glouernie et Hertford dedi concessi et hac 
presenti carta mea coufirmavi Johanni de la Garstune et heredibus suis pro homagio et servicio suo duas acras 
terre cum pertinentiis supra Heastehert unde una acra cum pertinenciis jacet inter terrain que fuit Galfridi 
molendinarii et campum qui vocatur Grenefeud in longitudine versus Heastehert Et in latitudine de via que 

1 Lanes. Pipe Rolls (W. Fisher, 1902), 269—272. 3 P. E. under date, p. 107. 

2 One of the deeds preserved in Proceedings of Antiqu., 4 S. A. C. Fines, p. 40, 159. 
2nd Series, IV., 84. See p. 155, note 4. 5 B. M. Add. MSS. 16,531. 

E £ 


est inter Blachingelegh et Tilebristegtrouwe et viam que est inter magnum parcuin meum de Blachingelegh et 
Chiventone versus north. Et alia acra cum pertinentiis jacet inter terrain que fuit Galfridi molendinarii et 
domuni Hugonis de Chert versus west in longitudine et in latitudine inter viam que est inter Blachingelegh 
et Tilebristegtrouwe et campum qui vocatur Chertland versus north in excambio quatuor marcarum argenti et 
decern acrarum terre que iacent inter boscum meum quam habeo de dono et vendicione Thome de "VVarbelton 
et terrain que fuit Odonis de Crohurst et extenditur usque ad magnum parcum meum de Blachingelegh versus 
west Habendum et tenendum in purum et perpetuum excambium sibi et heredibus